Philadelphia/ Crime & Emergencies
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Published on April 16, 2024
Philadelphia DA’s New Unit Targets Regular Gun Offenders Amid Rising ViolenceSource: St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the ongoing fight against gun-related violence, Philadelphia's District Attorney's Office is stepping up its game with the introduction of a new unit that has a laser focus on repeat offenders wielding guns. DA Larry Krasner announced on Monday the creation of the Prolific Gun Offenders Unit, a fresh arm of his office geared towards the prosecution of those who frequently find themselves on the wrong side of the law by illegally possessing firearms.

With attention to adults and juveniles alike, this unit aims to clamp down on a range of gun offenses, including those found with guns after previously being convicted of a felony, those engaged in "straw purchases" where guns are bought for individuals legally barred from owning them, and the handling of "ghost guns," untraceable weapons that often evade the grasp of regulation. According to FOX 29 News, Krasner's initiative also addresses the worrisome rise of ghost guns, which can be manufactured and distributed without serial numbers, making them invisible to traditional tracking methods.

This newly minted unit isn't operating in a silo; it's been noted, including by the unit's lead prosecutor, Assistant District Attorney Jeffery Palmer, as reported by NBC Philadelphia, that the team will work closely with other law enforcement bodies. This partnership will help determine if those arrested are intertwined with violent street groups that trouble Philadelphia's communities.

The initiative isn't just about prosecution, it's also about prevention; as cited by 6abc Action News, Krasner has conveyed that the efforts will extend to seeking increased bail requirements for those who keep coming back to the courts on gun charges. The move by the DA's office comes as a firm response to the clamor for more robust measures against gun violence, and it's matched by funding support from the City Council, ensuring that the unit has the resources it needs to aim at the problem.