WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — The U.S. Department of Justice is charging 12 people in a conspiracy to traffic about 90 illegal guns between Illinois and Tennessee, including guns tied to a deadly shooting near a birthday party in Chicago in March 2021.
The announcement of the case came as U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland vowed to do more to crack down on gun crime.
“There is no hiding place for those who flood our communities with illegal guns,” Garland said at a Friday press conference.
Chicago Police Department First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter was among a slate of law enforcement officials who joined forced to track down the gang accused of moving the guns.
“It is proof that working together, we can make a difference,” Carter said.
Garland says with more resources, authorities could make more similar arrests.
“Gun deaths in our country occur at a staggering pace,” he said. “If we are going to put an end to the enduring tragedy of gun violence … we are going to need more resources to do it.”
President Joe Biden’s new budget plan includes $1.7 billion for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
“Having more ATF agents is very high on our list, having more US assistant attorneys, very high on our list,” Garland said.
He is also asking Congress for $3 billion in local grant funding to help cities like Chicago.