WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – The Biden administration is facing mounting pressure to address a spike in violent crime in major cities across the country.
The Justice Department says it has been working to take violent criminals off the streets including a 30-day operation conducted by the U.S. Marshals Service — resulting in a large number of arrests including of three suspects in the mass shooting that happened in July in Philadelphia.
In June, federal law enforcement arrested 1,500 violent criminals through Operation North Star, the DOJ said.
“Which is an example of our efforts to protect our communities from violence and gun violence,” Attorney General Merrick Garland noted.
Garland says the operation focused on criminals wanted for the most serious offenses including homicide in 10 major U.S. cities.
“This initiative reflects the anti-violent crime initiative that we’ve had in place since the beginning of 2021,” Garland explained.
However, officials say the country continues to deal with crime issues, notably with ongoing mass shootings.
Most recently, a gunman opened fire from a rooftop on a crowd celebrating Independence Day in Highland Park, Illinois. So far, authorities say seven people died.
“20 minutes from the house I grew up in… just another horrific reminder of the violence and the gun violence that we face,” Garland said.
Authorities say that gunman has now confessed to the crime, and had AR-15 style weapons.
President Biden and Vice President Harris are renewing their calls for a ban on assault weapons, a call that Lake County State’s Attorney Eric Rinehart echoes.
“A ban of these types of weapons between 1994 to 2004, everything shows us these types of horrifying, devastating incidents went down during that time,” Rinehart said.
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However, there appears to be no appetite among Republicans to ban assault weapons. In July, Congress passed a law that includes expanding background checks, encouraging states to pass red flag laws and dedicating funding for mental health.