Five dangerous American cities where gun control laws are tough on honest citizens are being targeted by “gun trafficking strike forces” dispatched by the Department of Justice under the direction of Attorney General Merrick Garland, according to the Associated Press and NBC News.
Garland will visit Chicago Thursday, according to WLS News, the local ABC affiliate. The station reported, “Officials from the DOJ and the ATF say the goal is not a short-term infusion of federal resources but instead a sustained effort to disrupt gun trafficking routes.”
In addition to Chicago, the targeted cities are New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. The common denominator in all of those municipalities is that they have restrictions on honest gun owners or would-be gun owners, but are all examples of places where criminals ignore gun laws.
Garland issued a statement, “Working with our local partners to tackle violent crime is one of the Justice Department’s most important responsibilities. Today, the department is taking another concrete step to address violent crime and illegal firearms trafficking. Our firearms trafficking strike forces will investigate and disrupt the networks that channel crime guns into our communities with tragic consequences. This effort reflects our shared commitment to keep communities safe.”
The AP story, which also appeared in the Seattle Times, said there is “no federal gun trafficking law, so federal agents often must rely on other statutes” in order to prosecute people involved in gun trafficking. That would include lying on a federal Form 4473 or engaging in “straw purchases” for people who cannot legally buy their own guns.
In Chicago, murders were down slightly during the first six months of this year, compared to the body count for the same period in 2020. However, shootings have increased, along with the number of people being wounded.
The operation will also target so-called “supply areas” from which guns recovered in crimes in the five cities come; “cities and states where it’s easier to obtain firearms that are later trafficked into other cities with more restrictive gun laws,” the story said.