U.S. Justice Department to launch new effort to crack down on firearms trafficking

FILE PHOTO: AR-15 style rifles are displayed for sale at Firearms Unknown, a gun store in Oceanside, California, U.S., April 12, 2021. REUTERS/Bing Guan/File Photo

By Sarah N. Lynch

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department is launching a new strike force aimed at cracking down on illegal firearms trafficking, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said on Tuesday.

The strike forces will be focused on reducing violent crime by targeting activity in “significant gun trafficking corridors” including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., Monaco said during an event sponsored by the Police Executive Research Forum.

The Justice Department’s new initiative comes as President Joe Biden this week is expected to address recent spikes in shootings and other violent crimes.

Later this week, the Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote on whether to support the confirmation of David Chipman, Biden’s pick to lead the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

(Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Editing by Chris Reese and Dan Grebler)

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