Update on Justice Department ’s ongoing efforts to tackle gun violence

Saturday, June 17, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – On June 14, 2023, Attorney General Merrick B. Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco convened a meeting with the Criminal Division, FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), U.S. Marshals Service, and all 93 U.S. Attorneys.

Discussed were ongoing efforts to reduce violent crime and combat the gun violence that fuels it. 

These efforts include implementing the landmark Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA) passed by Congress and signed by the President last June; 
  • addressing the proliferation of untraceable and unlawful “ghost guns” that threaten public safety;
  • surging resources to federal, state, local, and Tribal law-enforcement partners on the front lines; and
  • adopting other common-sense reforms that keep guns out of the wrong hands.

Main topics 
  • Focusing U.S. Attorney Resources on Gun Crimes: During the meeting, the Attorney General reiterated his February 2022 direction to U.S Attorneys’ Offices to prioritize combating gun violence.
  • Expanding Background Checks: BSCA expanded background checks to include juvenile criminal and mental health records and local law enforcement contacts for prospective purchasers under the age of 21.
  • Narrowing the Boyfriend Loophole: BSCA also narrowed the so-called “boyfriend loophole” by expanding restrictions on firearm purchases by those convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence to include those convicted of assault in a “dating relationship.”
  • Fighting Illegal Trafficking in Firearms: BSCA created new criminal offenses for unlawfully trafficking in firearms and for straw-purchasing a firearm on behalf of a prohibited person, and it expanded the definition of “engaging in the business” of dealing in firearms.
  • Funding Evidence-Based Interventions: grants that will fund state crisis intervention programs, such as drug, mental health, and veterans’ treatment programs. Grants to fund school-based violence prevention programs.
  • Cracking down on ghost guns
  • Enhancing Firearm and Ballistics Tracing Efforts
  • Holding Gun Dealers Who Violate the Law Accountable


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