President Biden in remarks Wednesday said his crime prevention strategy would focus on boosting community policing, strengthening background checks on gun purchases, banning "assault weapons," and banning high-capacity magazines.
Biden boasted of "historic funding for crime prevention" in the $350 billion for state and local governments, from the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package, that can be used by cities to hire law enforcement officers, pay overtime, invest in technology to make law enforcement more efficient, and prosecute gun traffickers. Officials said the Biden administration hoped cities would choose to use the money for alternatives to policing, too, and to invest in community policing models, Fox News reports.
Both Biden and Attorney General Merrick Garland, who spoke before him, pointed to a historic rise in crime in the summertime, and said that rise "may be more pronounced" as the nation comes out of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The White House has insisted curbing gun violence is key to tamping down a "staggering" surge of crime across the U.S.
The president said the DOJ has created five new "strike forces" to crack down on illegal gun trafficking cartels and called on the Senate to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, thereby closing the "boyfriend loophole" to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers.