Sessions: Gun crime prosecutions up 23 percent this quarter
By Chris Eger
Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions last week credited a shift in priorities in the Justice Department for triggering a big jump in the number of people charged in federal court with weapons violations.
On Friday, Sessions explained the number of defendants charged with unlawful possession of a firearm increased in 2017’s second quarter to 2,637, up from 2,149 in the same period last year. The former Alabama Republican senator, narrowly confirmed in February to his post as the country’s top lawman, attributed the increase in part to a memo he sent in March to federal prosecutors directing them to target violent crime with a concentration on a number of statutes — including several dealing with firearms offenses.
“In the first three months since the memo went into effect, charges of unlawful possession of a gun – mostly by previously convicted felons – are up by 23 percent,” Sessions said. “That sends a clear message to criminals all over this country that if you carry a gun illegally, you will be held accountable. I am grateful to the many federal prosecutors and agents who are working hard every day to make America safe again.”
According to data from the Executive Office