Putting TRAC to Work
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judicary
February 22, 2013

Goodlatte and Judiciary Republicans Demand Answers from Obama on Lack of Enforcement of Nation's Gun Laws

“According to Department of Justice data, under the Obama Administration, federal weapons prosecutions have fallen to the lowest levels in over a decade. Figures collected by Syracuse University's TRAC project show that firearms prosecutions peaked at 11,015 under the Bush Administration in 2004 and that the Obama Administration prosecuted approximately only 7,774 firearms cases in 2012. In fact, the Northern District of Illinois, which includes Chicago, is ranked among the lowest in terms of the number of firearms prosecutions, despite a surge in gun-related crimes. In a city like Chicago, which saw 506 murders last year, it is appalling that the US Attorney’s office in that jurisdiction only prosecuted 25 federal firearms cases during 2011. “In 2010, there were 76,142 denials following the instant background check that takes place every time a firearm is purchased from a federally licensed firearms dealer. Of those, 4,732 denials were referred to field offices for investigation. However, only 62 prosecutions resulted from these actions. A prosecution rate this low is not indicative of a Department of Justice that takes the act of illegally attempting to acquire a firearm seriously. “We must all be looking for ways to prevent senseless acts of violence and the taking of innocent life but the best place to start would be enforcing the laws that Congress has already enacted.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
Copyright 2013
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