Introduced in House Passed House Introduced in Senate Passed Senate To President Became Law
02/10/2020          

Prosecuting Gun Crimes Saves Lives Act

Date Version PDF TXT
02/10/2020 Introduced in House Open

            I 

116TH CONGRESS 
2D SESSION H. R. 5836 

To direct the Attorney General to prioritize the investigation and prosecution 
of Federal firearms offenses, and for other purposes. 

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 

FEBRUARY 10, 2020 
Mrs. WAGNER introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 

Committee on the Judiciary 

A BILL 
To direct the Attorney General to prioritize the investigation 

and prosecution of Federal firearms offenses, and for 
other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa-1

tives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, 2

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. 3

This Act may be cited as the ‘‘Prosecuting Gun 4

Crimes Saves Lives Act’’. 5

SEC. 2. FINDINGS. 6

The Congress finds as follows: 7

(1) Promoting public safety, addressing gun- 8

based homicides, and enforcing Federal firearms 9

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2 

•HR 5836 IH

laws are among the highest priorities of the Con-1

gress. 2

(2) Point-of-sale background checks can reduce 3

the risk of gun-based homicides by preventing crimi-4

nals and prohibited persons from purchasing fire-5

arms while protecting access for law-abiding citizens. 6

(3) Under the Gun Control Act of 1968, cat-7

egories of persons who may pose a threat to public 8

safety, including violent felons, fugitives from jus-9

tice, and persons convicted of domestic violence 10

crimes, are prohibited from shipping, transporting, 11

receiving, or possessing firearms or ammunition. 12

(4) Thousands of prohibited persons illegally at-13

tempt to purchase firearms every year. In 2017, the 14

FBI’s NICS Section referred 112,090 denied trans-15

actions to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms 16

and Explosives (ATF). Of these NICS denials, only 17

12, or 0.09 percent, were prosecuted in 2017. 18

(5) On March 12, 2018, former Attorney Gen-19

eral Jeff Sessions issued a memo directing Depart-20

ment of Justice prosecutors to prioritize ‘‘vigorous 21

and appropriate’’ prosecution of cases involving false 22

statements on Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Ex-23

plosives Form 4473. The memo stated that ‘‘Crimi-24

nals and other prohibited persons who attempt to 25

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•HR 5836 IH

thwart the background check process by lying on the 1

required forms threaten to undermine this important 2

crime prevention tool’’ and that ‘‘we must vigilantly 3

protect the integrity of the background system 4

through appropriate prosecution of those who at-5

tempt to circumvent the law’’. The Department of 6

Justice’s efforts to reclaim the integrity of the back-7

ground check system yielded a 23-percent increase 8

in the number of defendants charged with unlawful 9

possession of a firearm in the 3 months following 10

issuance of the memo. 11

(6) On November 13, 2019, Attorney General 12

William Barr announced the launch of a new initia-13

tive, Project Guardian, to reduce gun-based homi-14

cides by investigating, prosecuting, and preventing 15

firearm crimes. Project Guardian will address gun- 16

based homicides by encouraging coordinated pros-17

ecution efforts, enforcement of the background check 18

system, improved information-sharing, response to 19

mental health denials, and crime gun intelligence co-20

ordination. 21

(7) Congress must ensure Federal, State, and 22

local entities tasked with preventing prohibited indi-23

viduals from purchasing firearms, recovering fire-24

arms from prohibited individuals, and investigating 25

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•HR 5836 IH

and prosecuting lying and buying and lying and try-1

ing cases have sufficient information and resources 2

to carry out their missions and promote public safe-3

ty. 4

(8) Congress urges the Attorney General to 5

prioritize the investigation and prosecution of Fed-6

eral firearm offenses to protect Americans and pre-7

vent and deter the illegal purchase and possession of 8

firearms. 9

SEC. 3. INFORMATION-SHARING WITH STATE FUSION CEN-10

TERS. 11

Not later than 60 days after the date of the enact-12

ment of this Act, the Attorney General may direct the Bu-13

reau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to reg-14

ularly provide to State and local law enforcement agencies, 15

including through State law enforcement fusion centers 16

(as defined in section 210A(j)(1) of the Homeland Secu-17

rity Act of 2002) a report listing individuals for whom 18

the National Instant Criminal Background Check System 19

has issued firearm transfer denials, including the basis for 20

the denial, with the purpose of equipping law enforcement 21

with the information they need to prevent persons from 22

illegally purchasing, receiving, or possessing firearms. 23

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•HR 5836 IH

SEC. 4. POINT OF CONTACT AND PARTIAL POINT OF CON-1

TACT STATE GRANTS TO INCREASE INVES-2

TIGATIONS AND PROSECUTIONS. 3

(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the 4

date of the enactment of this Act, and annually thereafter, 5

the Attorney General may make grants to eligible States 6

to investigate firearm transfer denials and increase inves-7

tigations and prosecutions of persons who illegally pur-8

chase, possess, or receive a firearm, or illegally attempt 9

to purchase, possess, or receive a firearm. 10

(b) ELIGIBILITY.—An eligible State is any State that 11

is a point of contact State or partial point of contact State 12

for the national instant criminal background check sys-13

tem. 14

(c) APPLICATION.—To receive a grant under this sec-15

tion, a State shall submit to the Attorney General an ap-16

plication at such time, in such manner, and containing 17

such information as the Attorney General may reasonably 18

require. 19

(d) PRIORITY.—In awarding grants under this sec-20

tion, the Attorney General may give priority to each eligi-21

ble State that— 22

(1) establishes a task force that includes enti-23

ties such as State and local law enforcement agen-24

cies, State and local prosecutors, agencies con-25

ducting background checks, and representatives 26

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•HR 5836 IH

from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and 1

Explosives; and 2

(2) certifies to the Attorney General that the 3

State is committed to investigating and prosecuting 4

persons who illegally purchase, possess, or receive 5

firearms or illegally attempt to purchase, possess, or 6

receive firearms. 7

(e) USE OF FUNDS.—A State that receives a grant 8

under this section shall use grant funds to coordinate and 9

execute investigations and prosecutions of persons who il-10

legally purchase, possess, or receive a firearm, or illegally 11

attempt such purchase, possession, or receipt, including 12

the illegal purchase or possession of a firearm based on 13

a prior felony or any relevant misdemeanor convictions. 14

(f) EVALUATION.—Each State that receives a grant 15

under this section shall submit to the Attorney General, 16

not later than 1 year after receipt of such grant, an eval-17

uation in such form and containing such information as 18

the Attorney General may reasonably require. 19

(g) AUTHORIZATION OF FUNDING.—There is author-20

ized to be appropriated to carry out this section not more 21

than $7,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 22

2025. 23

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•HR 5836 IH

SEC. 5. INCREASING FEDERAL PROSECUTION OF GUN VIO-1

LENCE. 2

(a) IN GENERAL.—Not later than 90 days after the 3

date of the enactment of this Act, the Attorney General 4

shall establish in each jurisdiction described in subsection 5

(c) a program that meets the requirements of subsection 6

(b), which shall be known as the ‘‘Prosecute Gun Crimes 7

Program’’. 8

(b) PROGRAM ELEMENTS.—Each program estab-9

lished under subsection (a) shall, for the jurisdiction con-10

cerned— 11

(1) require that the United States attorney des-12

ignate not less than 1 assistant United States attor-13

neys to prosecute violations of Federal firearms 14

laws; 15

(2) provide for coordination with State and 16

local law enforcement officials in the identification of 17

violations of Federal firearms laws; 18

(3) provide for the establishment of agreements 19

with State and local law enforcement officials for the 20

referral to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms 21

and Explosives and the United States attorney for 22

the district in which the jurisdiction is located for 23

prosecution of persons arrested for violations of sec-24

tion 922 or 924 of title 18, United States Code, or 25

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•HR 5836 IH

section 5861 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, 1

relating to firearms; 2

(4) ensure that each person so referred be 3

charged with a violation of the most serious Federal 4

firearm offense consistent with the act committed, 5

while preserving prosecutorial discretion; 6

(5) provide for the hiring of agents for the Bu-7

reau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 8

to investigate violations of the provisions of law 9

specified in paragraph (3); and 10

(6) provide for the establishment of multijuris-11

dictional task forces, coordinated by the Executive 12

Office of the United States attorneys, to investigate 13

and prosecute illegal straw purchasing rings that 14

purchase firearms in one jurisdiction and transfer 15

them in another. 16

(c) COVERED JURISDICTIONS.— 17

(1) IN GENERAL.—Subject to paragraph (2), 18

the jurisdictions described in this subsection are— 19

(A) the 15 cities or jurisdictions within the 20

50 States with a population equal to or greater 21

than 100,000 persons that had the highest per 22

capita rate of gun-based homicides according to 23

the uniform crime report of the Federal Bureau 24

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•HR 5836 IH

of Investigation for the most recent year avail-1

able; and 2

(B) the 3 tribal jurisdictions that have the 3

highest gun-based homicide crime rates, as de-4

termined by the Attorney General. 5

(d) ANNUAL REPORTS.—Not later than 1 year after 6

the date of the enactment of this Act, and annually there-7

after, the Attorney General shall submit to the Committee 8

on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the 9

Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report con-10

taining the following information: 11

(1) The number of individuals indicted for such 12

violations of Federal firearms laws during that year. 13

(2) The increase or decrease in the number of 14

individuals indicted for such violations of Federal 15

firearms laws during that year under a program es-16

tablished under this section when compared with the 17

year preceding that year. 18

(3) To the extent the information is available, 19

the average length of the sentences of imprisonment 20

of the individuals convicted of violations of Federal 21

firearms laws under such a program. 22

(4) The number of multijurisdictional task 23

forces established and the number of individuals ar-24

rested, indicted, convicted or acquitted of charges for 25

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violations of the crimes specified in subsection 1

(b)(3). 2

(e) LIMITATIONS ON AUTHORIZATION OF APPRO-3

PRIATIONS.— 4

(1) IN GENERAL.—For the salaries and ex-5

penses of assistant United States attorneys and Bu-6

reau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives 7

agents participating in the program established 8

under this section, there are authorized to be appro-9

priated $15,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021, 10

2022, and 2023. 11

(2) USE OF FUNDS.— 12

(A) ASSISTANT UNITED STATES ATTOR-13

NEYS.—The assistant United States attorneys 14

hired using amounts made available under 15

paragraph (1) of this subsection shall prosecute 16

violations of Federal firearms laws specified in 17

subsection (b)(3). 18

(B) ATF AGENTS.—The Bureau of Alco-19

hol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents 20

hired using amounts made available under 21

paragraph (1) of this subsection shall, to the 22

maximum extent practicable, concentrate their 23

investigations on violations of Federal firearms 24

laws specified in subsection (b)(3). 25

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11 

•HR 5836 IH

SEC. 6. PROSECUTION OF FELONS WHO ATTEMPT TO ILLE-1

GALLY PURCHASE FIREARMS. 2

(a) TASK FORCE.— 3

(1) ESTABLISHMENT.—There is established in 4

the Department of Justice a task force, which shall 5

be known as the Felon Firearm Task Force (re-6

ferred to in this section as the ‘‘Task Force’’), to 7

strengthen the efforts of the Department of Justice 8

to investigate and prosecute cases of convicted felons 9

who illegally attempt to purchase a firearm. 10

(2) MEMBERSHIP.—The members of the Task 11

Force shall be— 12

(A) the Deputy Attorney General, who 13

shall serve as the Chairperson of the Task 14

Force; 15

(B) the Assistant Attorney General for the 16

Criminal Division; 17

(C) the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, 18

Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; 19

(D) the Director of the Federal Bureau of 20

Investigation; and 21

(E) such other officers or employees of the 22

Department of Justice as the Attorney General 23

may designate. 24

(3) DUTIES.—The Task Force shall provide— 25

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12 

•HR 5836 IH

(A) direction for the investigation and 1

prosecution of cases of convicted felons at-2

tempting to illegally purchase a firearm; and 3

(B) recommendations to the Attorney Gen-4

eral relating to— 5

(i) the allocation and reallocation of 6

resources of the Department of Justice for 7

investigation and prosecution of such 8

cases; 9

(ii) enhancing cooperation among enti-10

ties of the Federal Government in the in-11

vestigation and prosecution of such cases; 12

(iii) enhancing cooperation among 13

Federal, State, and local authorities re-14

sponsible for the investigation and prosecu-15

tion of such cases; and 16

(iv) changes in rules, regulations, or 17

policy to improve the effective investigation 18

and prosecution of such cases. 19

(4) MEETINGS.—The Task Force shall meet 20

not less than once each year. 21

(5) TERMINATION.—The Task Force shall ter-22

minate on the date that is 5 years after the date of 23

the enactment of this Act. 24

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•HR 5836 IH

(b) AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF FUNDS.—Section 1

524(c)(1) of title 28, United States Code, is amended— 2

(1) in subparagraph (H), by striking ‘‘and’’ at 3

the end; 4

(2) in subparagraph (I), by striking the period 5

at the end and inserting ‘‘; and’’; and 6

(3) by inserting after subparagraph (I) the fol-7

lowing: 8

‘‘(J) the investigation and prosecution of 9

cases of convicted felons who illegally attempt 10

to purchase a firearm, in accordance with sec-11

tion 6(a) of the Prosecuting Gun Crimes Saves 12

Lives Act, except that— 13

‘‘(i) not more than $5,000,000 shall 14

be available to the Attorney General for 15

each of fiscal years 2021 through 2024 16

under this subparagraph; and 17

‘‘(ii) not more than 5 percent of the 18

amounts made available under this sub-19

paragraph may be used for the administra-20

tive costs of the task force established 21

under such section.’’. 22

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•HR 5836 IH

SEC. 7. REPORT TO CONGRESS ON FIREARMS PROSECU-1

TIONS. 2

(a) REPORT TO CONGRESS.—Beginning February 1, 3

2021, and on February 1 of each year thereafter through 4

2029, the Attorney General shall submit to the Commit-5

tees on the Judiciary and on Appropriations of the Senate 6

and of the House of Representatives a report containing 7

the information furnished under subsection (b) during the 8

fiscal year that ended on September 30 of the preceding 9

year. 10

(b) SUBJECT OF ANNUAL REPORT.—Not later than 11

90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, the 12

Attorney General shall require each component of the De-13

partment of Justice, including each Office of the United 14

States Attorney, to furnish for the purposes of the report 15

required by subsection (a) information relating to any case 16

presented to the Department of Justice for review or pros-17

ecution, in which the objective facts of the case provide 18

probable cause to believe that there has been a violation 19

of section 922 or 924 of title 18, United States Code, or 20

section 5861 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. 21

(c) ELEMENTS OF ANNUAL REPORT.—With respect 22

to each case described in subsection (b), the report sub-23

mitted under subsection (a) shall include information indi-24

cating— 25

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•HR 5836 IH

(1) whether in any such case, a decision has 1

been made not to charge an individual with a viola-2

tion of the relevant provision of law or any other 3

provision of Federal criminal law; 4

(2) in any case described in paragraph (1), a 5

description of why no charge was filed under the rel-6

evant provision of law; 7

(3) whether, in any case described in subsection 8

(b), an indictment, information, or other charge has 9

been brought against any person, or the matter is 10

pending; 11

(4) whether, in the case of an indictment, infor-12

mation, or other charge referred to in paragraph (3), 13

the charging document contains a count or counts 14

alleging a violation of the relevant provision of law; 15

(5) in any case described in paragraph (4) in 16

which the charging document contains a count or 17

counts alleging a violation of the relevant provision 18

of law, whether a plea agreement of any kind has 19

been entered into with the charged individual; 20

(6) whether any plea agreement described in 21

paragraph (5) required the individual to plead guilty 22

or enter a plea of nolo contendere, or otherwise 23

caused a court to enter a conviction against the indi-24

vidual for a violation of the relevant provision of law; 25

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16 

•HR 5836 IH

(7) in any case described in paragraph (6) in 1

which the plea agreement did not require the indi-2

vidual to plead guilty or enter a plea of nolo 3

contendere, or otherwise cause a court to enter a 4

conviction against that individual for a violation of 5

the relevant provision of law, the charges to which 6

the individual pled guilty; 7

(8) in the case of an indictment, information, or 8

other charge described in paragraph (3), in which 9

the charging document contains a count alleging a 10

violation of the relevant provision of law, the result 11

of any trial of the charges; 12

(9) in the case of an indictment, information, or 13

other charge described in paragraph (3), in which 14

the charging document did not contain a count or 15

counts alleging a violation of the relevant provision 16

of law, the nature of the other charges brought and 17

the result of any trial of such other charges brought; 18

(10) the number of persons who attempted to 19

purchase a firearm but were denied a firearm be-20

cause of a background check conducted in accord-21

ance with section 922(t) of title 18, United States 22

Code; and 23

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•HR 5836 IH

(11) the number of prosecutions conducted in 1

relation to persons described in paragraph (10). 2

Æ 

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  /CreateJDFFile false
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    /ITA (Utilizzare queste impostazioni per creare documenti Adobe PDF che devono essere conformi o verificati in base a PDF/X-1a:2001, uno standard ISO per lo scambio di contenuto grafico. Per ulteriori informazioni sulla creazione di documenti PDF compatibili con PDF/X-1a, consultare la Guida dell'utente di Acrobat. I documenti PDF creati possono essere aperti con Acrobat e Adobe Reader 4.0 e versioni successive.)
    /JPN 
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    /NLD (Gebruik deze instellingen om Adobe PDF-documenten te maken die moeten worden gecontroleerd of moeten voldoen aan PDF/X-1a:2001, een ISO-standaard voor het uitwisselen van grafische gegevens. Raadpleeg de gebruikershandleiding van Acrobat voor meer informatie over het maken van PDF-documenten die compatibel zijn met PDF/X-1a. De gemaakte PDF-documenten kunnen worden geopend met Acrobat en Adobe Reader 4.0 en hoger.)
    /NOR 
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    /PTB 
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    /ENU (Use these settings to create Adobe PDF documents that are to be checked or must conform to PDF/X-1a:2001, an ISO standard for graphic content exchange.  For more information on creating PDF/X-1a compliant PDF documents, please refer to the Acrobat User Guide.  Created PDF documents can be opened with Acrobat and Adobe Reader 4.0 and later.)
  >>
  /Namespace [
    (Adobe)
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    (1.0)
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  /OtherNamespaces [
    <<
      /AsReaderSpreads false
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      /FlattenerIgnoreSpreadOverrides false
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      /Namespace [
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      /SimulateOverprint /Legacy
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      /Downsample16BitImages true
      /FlattenerPreset <<
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      /FormElements false
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      /PDFXOutputIntentProfileSelector /DocumentCMYK
      /PreserveEditing true
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>> setdistillerparams
<<
  /HWResolution [2400 2400]
  /PageSize [612.000 792.000]
>> setpagedevice



		Superintendent of Documents
	2020-02-18T02:58:19-0500
	US GPO, Washington, DC 20401
	Superintendent of Documents
	GPO attests that this document has not been altered since it was disseminated by GPO
        

Picture Name From Date Type
Ann Wagner R-MO 02/10/2020 Sponsor
Date Branch Action
03/10/2020 President Referred to the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security.Action By: Committee on the Judiciary
02/10/2020 President Referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.Action By: House of Representatives
02/10/2020 President Introduced in HouseAction By: House of Representatives
Summary
Congress - Bill Number Major Title
Branch Vote Date Yes No Not Voting
Wiki






Bill TEXT Points.
This Bill has been listed with the following Subjects from Texts:
Americans
(8)Congress urges the Attorney General to prioritize the investigation and prosecution of Federal firearm offenses to protect Americans and prevent and deter the illegal purchase and possession of firearms

Appropriations
Report to Congress on firearms prosecutions(a)Report to CongressBeginning February 1, 2021, and on February 1 of each year thereafter through 2029, the Attorney General shall submit to the Committees on the Judiciary and on Appropriations of the Senate and of the House of Representatives a report containing the information furnished under subsection (b) during the fiscal year that ended on September 30 of the preceding year

Authorization
(g)Authorization of fundingThere is authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section not more than $7,000,000 for each of fiscal years 2021 through 2025

Evaluation
(f)EvaluationEach State that receives a grant under this section shall submit to the Attorney General, not later than 1 year after receipt of such grant, an evaluation in such form and containing such information as the Attorney General may reasonably require


End Bill TEXT Points.
Date Bill Major Title
Committee Name
Subject Type