Objective 2.3: Combat Violent Crime and Gun Violence

The Justice Department is committed to addressing the epidemic of gun violence and other violent crime.  We will study criminal gun trafficking to account for and address the emergence of “ghost guns.”  In addition, we will continue to work in partnership with state, local, Tribal, and territorial law enforcement agencies, as well as the communities they serve, to develop locally-based violent crime reduction solutions that target the most significant drivers of violent crime – including gun violence, domestic violence, sexual violence, criminal organizations, narcotics trafficking, firearms trafficking, human trafficking, and other forces.

Strategy 1: Target the Most Significant Violent Crime Problems
Addressing gun violence remains a key element of the Justice Department’s violence reduction strategy.  The Department will continue its Project Safe Neighborhoods program, which brings together various Department components and state, local, and Tribal law enforcement communities.  Four key elements comprise this program: community engagement; prevention and intervention; focused and strategic enforcement; and accountability.  U.S. Attorneys’ Offices will draw on research and analysis to determine the most effective strategies, consistent with those elements, for disrupting violent crime in their districts.  We will build on current efforts to identify and disrupt the schemes used to put otherwise lawfully owned firearms into the hands of violent criminals.  And we will continue to leverage innovative technological and analytical tools, including the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), to address the most significant violent crime threats.

Strategy 2: Enhance Partnerships with Federal, State, Local, and Tribal Law Enforcement
The Department will continue to strengthen its partnerships with federal, state, local and Tribal law enforcement, including through joint enforcement efforts, training and technical assistance, and grants.  By working together, the Department and its partners can learn from each other, share best practices designed to prevent crime, and focus enforcement efforts. 

Strategy 3: Invest in Community-Based Programs to Prevent Violence
In recent years, community organizations have developed innovative approaches to intervention and support for those at the highest risk of engaging in or becoming victims of violence.  Experience and research have shown that prevention and intervention can be highly effective complements to the strategic enforcement of criminal laws.  Although these kinds of programs are almost always best coordinated by state and local partners, the Department plays a significant role in supporting them through grant funding, training, and technical assistance.  The Department will continue to work with community stakeholders on measures to deter participation in gang activity, violent extremism, racially motivated violence, or other violent hate crimes, and to build community trust to increase reporting of hate crimes. 

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Percent of federal violent crime defendants’ cases favorably resolved
  • Volume of U.S. Attorney’s Office records uploaded to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System
  • Percent of grantees that conduct community engagement activities as part of the program planning for their crime reduction initiative

Contributing DOJ Components: CRM, CRT, USAO, OCDETF, ATF, BOP, DEA, FBI, USMS, COPS, CRS, OJP, OLP, OTJ, OVW, JMD

Updated June 3, 2022