Throughout his presidential campaign, Donald Trump reiterated the importance of the Second Amendment. Protecting that freedom is imperative, he said. And to do so, Trump emphasized, we must get serious about prosecuting violent criminals.
Project Exile, a program created in Virginia in 1997, was specifically cited as a successful model to follow. Project Exile stipulated that a violent felon who used a gun to commit a crime would be prosecuted in federal court and go to prison for five years without the possibility of parole or early release.
Trump’s choice for attorney general, Jeff Sessions, is also an advocate of Project Exile. “We have the right approach,” Sessions said in a 2005 Senate speech. “If we stay on it, we are going to continue to see the murder rate in this country go down.”
But President Barack Obama didn’t “stay on it”—he defunded the project. But with murder rates on the rise, Trump and Sessions are calling for an expansion of Project Exile.