White House press secretary Jen Psaki dodged a question about President Biden’s gun violence prevention strategy Monday, saying the rising crime rates in big cities across the country shouldn’t be expected to “turn on a dime.”
During her daily press briefing, Psaki was asked by Fox News’ Peter Doocy whether Biden’s “comprehensive strategy” to combat gun crime, first announced June 23, was effective in cities like Chicago, where 73 people were shot over the weekend, 11 of them fatally.
“Does the president think this strategy is working?” Doocy asked.
“Well,” Psaki responded. “I think you and I both know that when there’s been rising crime rates across the country, including in Chicago, for 18 months or more, that unfortunately, it’s not going to turn on a dime.”
The press secretary said Chicago is one of five cities in the country in which the federal government is working with local leaders and police to keep guns off the streets.
“The Department of Justice has a group in there to help address the selling of guns that are getting into the hands of people who shouldn’t have them,” she said. “We’re working closely with the mayor and local elected officials. They have benefitted a huge amount from the federal assistance and funding the president fought to include in the American Rescue plan.”
As part of the Biden administration’s plan, the Justice Department launched enforcement strike forces focused on combatting gun trafficking in Chicago, as well as New York, Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Washington, D.C.
“What our hope is that we can work in partnership to bring crime down, save more people in cities like Chicago where we know gun violence is a big driver of that,” Psaki said.