President Barack Obama announced on Wednesday that he is shortening prison sentences for 214 federal prisoners, 56 of whom have firearms related convictions on their records.
The mass commutation is the largest ever issued in a single day U.S. history, the White House said in a press release.
Obama has now shortened sentences for 562 federal prisoners, more than the nine previous presidents combined. Nearly 200 of those prisoners were serving life sentences, including 67 of the felons in the most recent batch of commutations.
While Obama has said that he wants to commute sentences for nonviolent drug criminals, the latest commutations suggest that the administration is lowering the bar by shortening sentences for gun criminals.
It also undermines Obama’s calls for tougher gun laws to cut gun crime.
In May, Obama announced he was commuting sentences for 58 federal prisoners. None of those had firearms convictions. In March, Obama commuted sentences for 61 convicts, 12 of whom had firearms related convictions. In a round of commutations announced in December, Obama commuted sentences for 95 convicts. Thirteen had firearms convictions.
Most of the federal felons on Wednesday’s list were convicted of carrying or using firearms while trafficking drugs. Others were charged with illegally possessing firearms because they are felons.