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DOJ officially launches gun trafficking strike force in 4 additional, major U.S. cities

The strike forces are now in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. 

Updated: July 22, 2021 - 3:51pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

The Justice Department on Thursday launched strike forces in four major U.S. cities to reduce illegal gun trafficking, following a similar effort last week in Los Angeles amid a surge in gun-violence metropolitan areas across the country. 

The four additional cities were Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. 

The endeavor was announced last month to reduce gun violence in the U.S. 

In Chicago, for example, 2,019 people have been shot in the city this year, an increase of almost 13% over last year and a 58% increase in shootings compared with 2019, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

The forces led by Attorney General Merrick Garland will include stepped-up enforcement in high supply areas, which are the places where people purchase guns to transport to high demand locations.

Officials will also prioritize sharing information and prosecutions across state and jurisdiction lines to crack down on trafficking schemes that they say might otherwise appear unconnected.

U.S authorities have additionally placed federal agents into homicide units of police departments across the U.S. They have been also been including additional crime analysts into the departments and are conducting fugitive sweeps to arrest people who have outstanding state and federal warrants for violent crimes, the Justice Department also said.

Because there is no federal gun trafficking law, the federal agents have to rely on other laws such as lying on a gun purchase application and the illegal sales of firearms to officially crack down on the trafficking schemes, according to the Associated Press.

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