WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, responded to the confirmation of Kristen Clarke to be Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights in the Department of Justice, on the one-year mark of the death of George Floyd. Under the leadership of Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Department of Justice will be instrumental in combating gun violence and armed, far-right extremism, protecting civil rights, and prosecuting hate crimes.
“In appointing Kristen Clarke, President Biden is sending another advocate for common-sense gun safety and police accountability to the Department of Justice, and affirming that the right to safety is one of the most fundamental civil rights,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety.
“The gun violence epidemic is a civil rights issue, and Kristen Clarke is the right person to lead this division and work closely with Attorney General Merrick Garland to ensure justice and accountability,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “In so many ways personnel is policy, and the Biden-Harris administration continues to bring in the necessary leadership to help end gun violence.”
Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Kristen Clarke has long been an advocate for gun safety, calling for action on common-sense measures like background checks. A diverse coalition of organizations, including many law enforcement organizations, came together to support her confirmation to lead the civil rights division at the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Already, DOJ is taking important steps to address gun violence and combat armed extremism. At the direction of President Joe Biden, DOJ has proposed new regulations to stop the proliferation of untraceable ghost guns, and is preparing a new rule to ensure that stabilizing arm braces that circumvent the law on dangerous short-barrel rifles are subject to the National Firearms Act. DOJ will also issue a new, comprehensive annual report on firearms trafficking, giving policy makers and law enforcement critical information to formulate life saving policies. President Biden also announced fourteen actions at DOJ to increase investments in community violence intervention, which will help combat the gun violence epidemic, and the President has advocated for an additional $100 million to be appropriated to DOJ in fiscal year 2022 to support these programs. And, DOJ has demonstrated its commitment to combating armed extremism through robust investigation and prosecution of the January 6 U.S. Capitol rioters, and vowing to stop domestic extremism by white nationalist groups. DOJ also has a crucial role to play to end police violence through its pattern or practice investigations, and the Attorney General just recently rescinded the prior administration’s policy that curbed the use of consent decrees to accomplish this goal.
This is the strongest gun safety administration in history, as evidenced by President Biden’s historic executive actions to address gun violence, his long record of taking on the NRA and passing life-saving laws, Vice President Kamala Harris’ years of gun safety advocacy, and the unmatched gun sense cabinet they have built in recent months.