In Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, opponents of new firearms restrictions have an attorney general nominee ready to implement their frequent call to “enforce the laws on the books.”
During his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Sessions pledged that, if his nomination is approved, he would take on the rising number of homicides in some American cities by deploying the weight of the federal courts against illegal firearms use.
As proof of his commitment, he cited his own resume.
“As United States Attorney, my office was a national leader in gun prosecutions nearly every year,” Sessions said in his opening remarks.
Available records do not support that statement.
The Justice Department does not maintain comprehensive public records on past prosecution trends. But the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, or TRAC, a database at Syracuse University that relies on Freedom of Information Act requests, has collected prosecution records dating to 1986. U.S. Attorneys choose the category that applies to each case, and there is no specific tally of gun prosecutions, which instead are counted under “weapons.”
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