DOJ seeks $382M for gun-control initiatives

“While most of the Department’s efforts will be focused on keeping guns out of the wrong hands, we also want to help those on the ground prevent and mitigate violent situations when they do occur,” the DOJ said in a statement.

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DOJ also wants $51.1 million more for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearm and Explosives (ATF), an agency that has lacked a permanent director for the past six years. The funding increase, which DOJ said would pay for 255 new employees, would support “additional investigative and regulatory resources,” including sprucing up the ATF’s gun-tracing system.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) would gain 524 new employees under Obama’s budget and see the agency’s purse increase by $100 million. Much of the increase would be used to prepare for compliance with a universal background check system, even though Congress has yet to authorize it. On Wednesday, however, Sens. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) introduced a bill on Wednesday to require background checks for all gun sales, even those sold at gun shows or over the Internet.

“This expansion will allow the NICS IT system to handle twice to gross transaction load it currently does,” the DOJ said. Current appropriations for this system are set at $68.4 million, so the budget is calling for a $31.6 million increase.

Other requests include $150 million to help schools develop safety plans and hire security officers or train current administrators and $2 million to encourage the private sector to develop new gun safety technologies.