While federal prosecution of firearm-related offenses took a sharp dive under Attorney General Eric Holder, the tenure of Jeff Sessions has seen a marked and consistent increase, reaching 12.5 percent since he took office.
“The Department [of Justice] has convicted more than 1,200 members of gangs, cartels, and their subsidiaries since the beginning of the year,” Sessions told an audience of the Fraternal Order of Police, as reported in Lifezette. More gun cases have been initiated each month than the corresponding month of last year.
According to Lawrence Leiser, president of the National Association of Assistant U.S. Attorneys, the change may be less about positive policy and more about a lack of the leniency that Holder called for. “I think it’s happening naturally,” he said. “Nobody’s ever told us to prosecute more cases. What the attorney general’s done is asked us to go back to the practice that began in the 1980s.”