Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee are calling on President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to prosecute more people for lying on their firearm permit applications and committing other gun-related crimes.
In letters to Obama and Holder on Friday, the group of 23 GOP lawmakers — led by Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (Va.) — highlighted a declining number of federal weapons prosecutions in recent years, as well as a low number of prosecutions of people who have had their gun permit applications rejected.
The Republicans say those numbers show that more attention and resources should be placed on enforcing current firearms laws before the White House and Congress move to enact new ones.
“A prosecution rate this low is not indicative of a Department of Justice that takes the act of illegally attempting to acquire a firearm seriously,” Goodlatte said in a statement accompanying the letters.
“We must all be looking for ways to prevent senseless acts of violence and the taking of innocent life but the best place to start would be enforcing the laws that Congress has already enacted.”