“We need to take criminals with guns off the streets,” said newly-confirmed U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a recent presentation for state, local and federal law enforcement officials. “We need to put bad people behind bars.”
Sessions signaled that the Justice Department will be doubling-down on the War on Drugs and also on weapons violations, which he feels are largely the result of drug crime. According to the Courthouse News Service, Sessions apparently believes the heroin and opiate epidemic is not caused by the over-prescription of opioid painkillers, but because “Mexican drug cartels are producing new, low-cost heroin.”
With the supposed increase in low-cost heroin, Sessions asserts, violent crime also rises — as do overdose deaths. Sessions (incorrectly) pointed out that the overdose rate from heroin and opioids tripled between 2010 and 2014 (the rate has quadrupled).
The Justice Department needs to arrest more weapon offenders, Sessions says
“We’ve seen a priority that’s slipped away from firearms on the federal level,” Sessions told the audience in a 30-minute speech in Richmond, Virginia. “Firearms prosecutions have gone down. This downward trend is going to end.”
“We need to take criminals with guns off the streets,” he added. “We need to put bad people behind bars.”
However, Sessions did not point to any evidence that firearms offenses themselves are on the rise. If the heroin/opioid epidemic turns out to be more of a public health crisis and less of a crime wave, there may not be any reason to believe these addicts are likely to use guns in their drug-seeking.
If you or someone you care about is addicted to OxyContin, Vicodin, another opiate or heroin, you need to know that the federal government plans to crack down. The War on Drugs is not over, by any means — and being arrested with a gun in your possession will only make things worse.