Over the past few months, the National Rifle Association has been outspoken in its support of new Attorney General Jeff Sessions—before, during and since his confirmation hearing. It isn’t hard to figure out why. The NRA has long called for more vigorous prosecution of violent criminals in order to make our country safer for all law-abiding citizens, and Sessions had vowed to do just that.
Just a month on the job, he is already making good on that promise.
Last Wednesday, Sessions sent a memo to the Department of Justice’s 94 U.S. attorney’s offices instructing them to immediately begin working closely with federal, state, local and tribal authorities to target America’s most violent offenders and get them off the streets.
“It is the policy of the Department of Justice to reduce crime in America, and addressing violent crime must be a special priority,” Sessions wrote. “With crime rates rising, this is not an easy task as all professionals know. But, we do have strong evidence that aggressive prosecutions of federal laws can be effective in combatting crime.” “It is the policy of the Department of Justice to reduce crime in America, and addressing violent crime must be a special priority.” — U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Vigorous prosecution of violent criminals was not a DOJ priority under the Obama administration, and Sessions is already seeking to right that ship. And this memo was a first large step, putting all in the DOJ, and everyone else in the country, on notice that things are changing.
“As a next step, I am today directing the 94 United States Attorney's Offices to partner with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for significant violent crime in their districts,” Sessions continued. “Once identified, the United States Attorney's Offices must ensure that these drivers of violent crime are prosecuted, using the many tools at a prosecutor's disposal.”
Sessions then urged prosecutors to work toward the goal of prosecuting the most violent among us in a way that ensures they receive the sentences they deserve.
“To accomplish this goal, in all cases, federal prosecutors should coordinate with state and local counterparts to identify the venue (federal or state) that best ensures an immediate and appropriate penalty for these violent offenders,” he wrote. “I know many of you are already employing these strategies, and I ask that you increase this effort to ensure that your process is achieving the results you seek.
“When it is determined that federal prosecution of these violent offenders is appropriate, federal prosecutors should use the substantial tools at their disposal to hold them accountable and ensure an appropriate sanction under federal law. Oftentimes the criminal statutes specifically designed to target violent crime will be most applicable.” Sessions is already proving that he is, indeed, the man for the job by turning a corner and putting DOJ emphasis back where it belongs.
It’s heartening to many of us to see a U.S. attorney general focusing on violent criminals, rather than backing proposals to further restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners like Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch did under President Barack Obama. Sessions is already proving that he is, indeed, the man for the job by turning a corner and putting DOJ emphasis back where it belongs.
Sessions concluded his letter to prosecutors: “By consistently identifying the leading violent offenders in our communities and employing all available tools to hold them accountable, we will combat violent crime. Thank you for your commitment to work aggressively toward this goal and for your service to the Department.”
To which we say, “Thank you, Attorney General Sessions, for your important focus on making America a safer place for all law-abiding Americans.”
Mark Chesnut has been the editor of America’s 1st Freedom magazine for nearly 17 years and is an avid hunter, shooter and political observer.