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Everytown Applauds Confirmation of Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta

April 21, 2021

WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, responded to the confirmations of Lisa Monaco to be Deputy Attorney General, and Vanita Gupta to be Associate Attorney General in the Department of Justice. Under the leadership of Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Department of Justice will be instrumental in combating both gun violence and armed, far-right extremism.

“No agency in the Biden-Harris administration can do more to save lives from gun violence than the Department of Justice, and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta are the leaders we need alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland to keep Americans safe,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Their leadership on gun safety, police reform, and combating armed extremism will make the Department of Justice stronger, and ensure the department is even better positioned to address gun violence in all its forms.” 

“We’re at a critical moment in the fight against gun violence in this country and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta, alongside Attorney General Merrick Garland, will be crucial allies at the Department of Justice in this effort,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “With today’s announcement of a probe into police practices in Minneapolis, the Biden-Harris administration continues to bring the necessary leadership and attention that’s needed to save lives.”

Both Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco and Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta have long been champions for gun safety. Deputy Attorney General Monaco acted as President Barack Obama’s homeland security adviser as his administration pushed for gun safety laws, while Associate Attorney General Gupta has led on police reform, advocated for gun safety laws, and spoken out against armed extremists

Already, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is taking important steps to address gun violence and combat armed extremism. At the direction of President Joe Biden, DOJ is preparing to propose new regulations to stop the proliferation of untraceable ghost guns, and 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 riotters, 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.

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