The U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday that it is creating five “strike forces” to combat illegal gun trafficking in the United States.
The strike forces will target what the DOJ calls “significant gun trafficking corridors,” including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, in the hopes of reducing violent crime.
The announcement comes as President Joe Biden is set to address rising shootings and other violent crime surging in cities around the country during a Wednesday speech.
The New York Times reported that in the first three months of 2021, 37 cities saw on average an 18% increase in murders compared to the same period in 2020.
Last weekend, more than 50 people were shot in Chicago.
“Working with our local partners to tackle violent crime is one of the Justice Department’s most important responsibilities,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement.