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DOJ has larger role to play in addressing gun violence, racial 'safety gap'

Media Contact

Rachel Rhodes

On Thursday, President Biden is expected to unveil new steps designed to reduce violent gun crime by tasking the Department of Justice with launching national ghost gun enforcement and drug-related violent crime initiatives. The announcement comes amid a surge in violent crime nationwide, including a rise in shootings and homicides in several major cities.

Max Kapustin

Assistant professor of policy analysis and management

Max Kapustin, assistant professor of policy analysis and management at Cornell University’s Brooks School of Public Policy, studies how exposure to violence impacts the lives of disadvantaged groups.

Kapustin says:

“The burden of gun violence falls disproportionately on our most disadvantaged communities. In cities across the country, the most economically marginalized—and often most racially segregated—neighborhoods tend to have the highest rates of gun violence. This creates shocking disparities in outcomes: young Black men are victims of homicide at 20 times the rate of their White peers, a safety gap due almost entirely to gun violence.

“Though most crime policy happens at the local or state level, reducing gun violence is one area where the federal government can play a larger role. Many guns used in crimes in cities like Chicago and New York often originate from out of state. Reducing the interstate trafficking of these weapons and making them less available to those who would use them to commit violence is a task for which the Department of Justice is particularly well-suited.”

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