Fighting gun violence: Biden details federal strike force being sent to Chicago

President Joe Biden is promising to help Chicago and other big cities that have been hit hard by an increase in deadly gun violence.

He says the Department of Justice will create a new strike force in the city to help Chicago police stem the flow of illegal firearms.


The president on Wednesday said the strike force would coordinate not just with local police, but with other departments across the country as well.

"To crack down (on) illegal gun trafficking, and the (cartels) applying weapons to cities like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and the Bay Area. With each strike force, local and federal law enforcement and prosecutors are going to be able to better coordinate the prosecution of illegal gun trafficking across city and state lines," Biden said.

Chicago mayors and Illinois governors have long complained about the illegal delivery of firearms from other states. 

The president anticipated counterarguments from the gun rights lobby.

"This doesn't affect responsible gun owners or Second Amendment rights. It helps keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them in the first place," Biden said. "From a child who accidentally picks it up to a burglar or violent criminal trying to steal it and use it. We need to keep building on the gun violence and crime prevention strategy we are laying out today."

The president focused on executive actions and was asked by a reporter as he was leaving the news conference whether he had given up hope on an assault weapons ban getting through Congress.

"I never give up hope," Biden said.

However, a ban on assault rifles seems unlikely given this Congress.