Justice Dept. budget has gun control funds

April 10, 2013 at 4:59 PM
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WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama's $27.6 billion Justice Department allocation in his 2014 budget has $395 million in new funds to fight gun violence, the White House said.

The new money also would help ensure people who aren't eligible to buy or own handguns are prevented from doing so, the budget document, introduced Wednesday, said. It also would provide funding to improve criminal history records information and increase inspections of the firearms industry.

Some $222 million is allocated to help state and local governments implement the Obama administration's proposals for increasing firearms safety and to support programs that help keep communities safe from mass casualty violence, the budget indicated. Included in these initiatives are $150 million for the Comprehensive School Safety Program, $55 million in grants to improve the submission of state criminal and mental health records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, $15 million to improve police officer safety and $2 million to develop better gun safety mechanisms to prevent the use of firearms by unauthorized users.

The budget also includes $93 million in cybersecurity enhancement.

It invests $3.5 billion for FBI and National Security Division programs critical to mitigating and countering terrorism threats.

The budget provides $8.6 billion in funding for recently built or acquired prisons, including the Thomson, Ill., correctional facility. It addresses overcrowding by providing additional contract beds.

The budget proposal includes $2.6 billion for programs targeting drug enforcement and organized crime.

An additional $55 million was allocated to support "aggressive" efforts to investigate and prosecute financial, mortgage and other frauds while still countering intellectual property crimes. The budget also provides enhancements to ensure the protection of civil rights, including enforcing Federal prohibitions against racial and ethnic discrimination.

It would improve prisoner re-entry initiatives by expanding Second Chance Act programs and works to reduce recidivism rates.

The budget supports additional administrative judge teams and system improvements to address the immigration case backlog.

The budget would include a 10 percent increase to state and local criminal justice assistance by investing in programs that promote public safety.

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