NRA has long maintained that federal gun laws aimed at the criminal misuse of firearms are effective in reducing crime--if they are enforced. President Bush's administration has clearly heard that message and implemented it.
According to data released by a Syracuse University-based research group, Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), prosecutions of federal gun law violations have increased sharply in the Bush Administration.
The data, obtained by TRAC from the Department of Justice, show that federal prosecutions are up across the board in the Bush Justice Department, and that cases filed on gun charges are a primary reason for the increase.
In 2000 there were 5,490 such prosecutions. In 2004 there were 10,937. That increase in gun crime prosecutions makes up almost one-quarter of the total increase in federal prosecutions in that period. The data suggest a significant change in priorities between a Janet Reno vs. a John Ashcroft-run Justice Department: the latter went after criminals who misuse firearms, not law-abiding citizens.
Passing more gun laws targeted at lawful gun ownership will not fight crime. Only by prosecuting criminals who possess and use firearms illegally will we have a decline in gun crime in America. The Bush Justice Department has clearly received and understood this truth.