Remarks as Prepared for Delivery
Thank you, Madam Vice President, for that kind introduction.
There is no higher priority for the Department of Justice than keeping the American people safe.
That is why every day we work with our community and law enforcement partners to combat violent crime through prevention and prosecutions.
Too often, though, murders and other serious crimes are committed with guns.
Each victim of gun violence is someone’s loved one, neighbor, friend.
We stand together today in recognition of that loss and alongside all those who have been touched by the tragedy of gun violence.
We also stand together with resolve and hope for the future.
Just over one year ago, the President, the Vice President and the Attorney General stood in this very spot to announce new steps to curb gun violence.
One such critical step is reigning in so-called “ghost guns.”
These are guns that have no serial numbers; they are nearly impossible for law enforcement to trace. Many are sold without a background check. They are accessible to almost anyone.
They often come in kits – bought online – they can be assembled quickly with little or no training.
That means someone can convert parts in a box into a working gun with alarming ease.
We call them “ghost guns” because they can’t be traced – but make no mistake, they are real; they can shoot to kill – and they do.
For years, criminals have sought out these unmarked guns to murder and maim.
That’s why today Attorney General Garland has signed a rule that updates our regulations to keep up with changes in technology.
The goal: to keep untraceable guns off the streets – out of the hands of criminals and others prohibited by law from possessing a firearm.
Some of the key changes include: updating old definitions to ensure that gun laws apply to all firearms – including ghost guns; requiring gun dealers to run background checks on kits containing parts that can readily be converted into a gun; facilitating tracing by requiring firearms dealers to apply serial numbers to existing ghost guns that they take into inventory.
Because of these updates, law enforcement will have additional crime gun intelligence to stop gun violence, to seek justice for the victims of violent crimes, and to get guns used in crimes off our streets.
Today’s announcement is one of many efforts by the Department of Justice to protect our communities from violent crime and gun violence.
We continue to go after and disrupt illegal gun trafficking networks.
We continue to go after and hold accountable the most violent offenders.
And we are working every day with our partners in law enforcement and community leaders to craft specific strategies to combat violent crime and keep communities safe.
We will not stop until we reduce violent crime and save lives.
As the Attorney General has said, the department will continue to apply every tool at our disposal to fulfill that obligation.
And now, it is my honor to introduce Mia Tretta, an inspiring young woman whose story illustrates why we are here today, and why these actions are so important.