Gun Laws & Legislation

Grassley Grills Garland On Crime, Firearms, And Biden’s Mishandled Crime Strategy

[Photo by Mandel Ngan-Pool/Getty Images]

NRA ILA Contributor
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On Feb. 14, even as the ATF was encouraging jilted lovers to report their exes for firearm violations, Second Amendment champion Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) sent his own message to U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland, blasting the Department of Justice for mishandling the spike in violent crime.

Grassley’s letter to Garland took the administration to task for exploiting the historic rise in murder in numerous Democrat-run cities in 2021 as merely one more opportunity to call for gun control that would do nothing to address the dynamics of this crisis.

Making the rebuke sharper, is the fact that Grassley used DOJ’s own statistics to rebut the Biden/Garland anti-gun talking points.

Grassley set the tone by laying out several stark facts that illustrate the cost of Biden’s failed leadership.

He wrote:

We have a serious violent crime problem which requires serious policy solutions. At least 16 U.S. cities set murder records in 2021.2 A study from last month found that 27 major U.S. cities experienced a 44% increase in homicides since 2019. Attacks on law enforcement also continue to rise. In 2021, law enforcement officers were victims of more felonious killings than since the September 11 attacks. Ambush-style attacks on law enforcement spiked 115% in 2021.

He then debunked various gun control “solutions” offered by the administration, including addressing the supposed “Iron Pipeline,” targeting “ghost guns,” and trying to blame lawful firearms dealers for the acts of criminals.

Grassley first noted that it is a fallacy that “the explosion of crime in Democrat-controlled cities is entirely the fault of states with lower rates of crime” that supposedly export guns to crime hot spots.

He used data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to show that in all 50 states, the greatest number of firearms recovered by police originated in the state itself. The president’s focus on the “Iron Pipeline,” Grassley wrote, “is a distraction from the reality that the explosion of crime in blue cities is directly attributable to those same cities implementing de-policing, installing progressive prosecutors, and enacting disastrous bail reform policies.”

The letter then took aim at the focus on so-called “ghost guns” by DOJ and the White House. It noted that the 325 homicides or attempted homicides connected to ghost guns recovered by the ATF between 2016 and 2020 and cited by the administration as justification for this emphasis accounted for less than .36% of the 89,076 actual homicides during that time period.

Although he didn’t put it this bluntly, the takeaway was, “It’s the murderers, stupid,” not merely one of the myriad of ways they committed their crimes, and certainly not one of the most minuscule contributors at that.

Finally, Grassley scoffed at the idea that ATF should be focusing efforts on alerting firearm dealers to when a firearm purchased from them was used in a violent crime, when 93% of firearms used in crime are obtained by means other than direct purchase from licensed dealers. “There is no data,” he stated, suggesting that legal firearm dealers are responsible for any significant increase in crime.” Meanwhile, the administration’s misplaced focused on FFLs could “result in substantial harassment of legally operated businesses.”

The last part of Grassley’s letter noted the Garland DOJ’s failure to cooperate with Republican-led oversight requests emanating from the Senate Judiciary Committee, while providing thousands of documents to Democrat members of the same committee. He then reiterated his request for data that could shed further light on America’s current violent crime explosion and lead to possible legislative responses.

Sen. Grassley’s leadership in bringing the hypocrisy and incompetence of the Biden administration approach to crime into sharper focus and in seeking information to promote a better understanding of the crisis is commendable.

Clearly, the nation has a serious crime problem on its hands, and the American people deserve better than opportunistic finger-pointing masquerading as solutions.

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Click here to follow NRA-ILA on Facebook