The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday officially launched federal gun trafficking strike forces in five U.S. cities as part of the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce illegal sales.
The DOJ said that the start of the effort, which was unveiled last month, will be a cross-jurisdictional partnership between the U.S. attorneys, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and state and local law enforcement “to focus enforcement against entire trafficking networks, from the places where guns are unlawfully obtained to the areas where they are used to commit violent crimes,” the Hill reports.
The initial strike forces in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., will work to stop guns traveling from areas where it is easier to obtain firearms to places with more restrictive gun laws, the DOJ said.
The DOJ said in a statement that Attorney General Merrick Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco will be visiting the ATF headquarters Thursday to kick off the strike forces and will “meet virtually with law enforcement leaders in key strike force market cities.”
Some cities have also launched their own efforts to address gun violence.
In Chicago, the police department on Monday announced the creation of a new 50-officer team aimed at targeting gun traffickers, straw buyers, disreputable licensed firearm dealers and others who help bring illegal guns into the city.