Biden admin announces crackdown on illegal ghost guns

Biden admin announces crackdown on illegal ghost guns

The Biden administration has announced plans to crackdown on illegal ghost guns and firearms trafficking along the East Coast “iron pipeline” — just in time for the president’s visit to New York City on Thursday to discuss surging gun violence.

President Biden is expected to address the new effort when he and Attorney General Merrick Garland meet with Mayor Eric Adams and Gov. Kathy Hochul later Thursday.

Among the slew of measures is the Justice Department’s new National Ghost Gun Enforcement Initiative, which aims to clamp down on homemade firearms that lack serial numbers used to trace them.

The DOJ effort will prioritize bringing federal charges against those people who use ghost guns, as well as those who sell or transfer guns used in violent crime.

It will also crack down on the so-called “iron pipeline”, which refers to the illegal flow of guns sold in the south, transported up the East Coast and then found out crime scenes in cities, including the Big Apple.

The initiative will see the DOJ train prosecutors specifically on ghost guns so they can help bring cases against those who use the illegal firearms to commit crimes, the administration said.

Attorney General Merrick Garland.
President Biden is expected to announce the crackdown on “ghost guns” when he meets with Attorney General Merrick Garland.
Carolyn Kaster/Pool via REUTERS
Kathy Hochul.
Gov. Kathy Hochul will also join the meeting with President Biden.
Don Polllard

Biden’s new measures build on some initiatives that are already underway and offer suggestions for local governments on how to spend federal dollars.

The president has proposed a $300 million budget that calls for increased funding for local community policing programs — but that effort is stalled in Congress.

He is expected to urge Congress to pass the funding measure during his visit to New York.

Chuck Schumer.
President Biden is expected to urge Congress to pass his proposed $300 million budget to increase funding for local community policing programs.
Daniel William McKnight

Biden’s visit comes a day after the funeral for the second NYPD officer gunned down in the line of duty last month was held in Manhattan.

The funeral for Det. Wilbert Mora was held just hours after yet another NYPD cop was shot and wounded elsewhere in the city on his way to work.

Adams railed against gun violence as he eulogized Mora, saying: “Last night, we were reminded again about the danger and overproliferation of guns.”

Eric Adams at Wilbert Mora's funeral.
Mayor Eric Adams spoke out against the rise of gun violence during NYPD Officer Wilbert Mora’s funeral.
Saint Patrick’s Cathedral

The Big Apple grappled with a series of high-profile crimes last month, including the deaths of Mora and his partner Jason Rivera, a deadly subway shove under Times Square, a stray-bullet shooting of a baby and a deadly robbery at a Burger King.

“It is New Yorkers against the killers, and we will not lose,” Mayor Adams said at the funeral as he pledged to give police “the resources to fight this violence.”

Adams said he hoped federal and state lawmakers would give police the help they deserved.

New York City has grappled with a series of high-profile crimes in the last month.
Gabriella Bass
Guns seized from a party bus in Brooklyn.
New York City Police Department via AP

“These officers, every day, put on their uniforms, pin that shield on their chest, put that bulletproof vest on and go back into the streets,” Adams said. “They still go back and do their jobs. Now it’s time for lawmakers to do their job.”

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