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Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Attorney General Merrick Garland on Thursday pushed the Senate to confirm the head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives as the agency, which assists federal efforts combatting gun violence, has been without a permanent leader since 2015.

The big picture: Republicans and the National Rifle Association have worked to nix David Chipman's confirmation to lead the ATF, the AP reports.

  • Chipman has worked for the agency for two decades and had previously served as an adviser to the gun control group Giffords.

Driving the news: Garland and Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco met at the agency before traveling to Chicago to launch an effort to combat gun trafficking.

  • The effort will seek to interrupt the flow of guns illegally brought into cities with restrictive guns laws from cities and states where firearms are more easily obtained.

What they're saying: “As you all know, ATF is on the front lines of our efforts to battle gun violence,” Garland said, per AP. “We are very hopeful that the Senate will soon act.”

  • We all know our job is to go after those who pull the trigger,” Monaco said in a statement to AP.
  • "But our job is also of course to go after the sources of those guns, the corridors that they travel in and the networks that feed those guns to the places where they are doing the most violent crime and that is what this series of strike force efforts is all about," she continued.

Go deeper

DOJ launches new initiative to target contractor cyber-fraud

Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Justice Department has launched a new initiative to target government contractors and federal grant recipients that fail to report cybersecurity breaches, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced Wednesday.

Why it matters: Cybersecurity has become an increasingly urgent concern amid the growth of cybercrime groups, foreign adversaries' cyber-espionage capabilities and multiple U.S. government hacks.

Updated 3 hours ago - World

Reports: Up to 17 U.S. missionaries kidnapped in Haiti

Haitian soldiers guard the public prosecutor's office in Port-au-Prince earlier this month. Photo: Richard Pierrin/AFP via Getty Images

Children were among up to 17 American Christian missionaries and their relatives kidnapped by a gang in Haiti on Saturday, the New York Times first reported.

Details: The missionaries had just left an orphanage and were traveling by bus to the airport to "drop off some members" and were due to travel to another destination when the gang struck in Port-au-Prince, Haitian security officials said, per the NYT.

5 hours ago - World

Melbourne, "world's most locked-down city," to lift stay-at-home orders

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews during a news conference in Melbourne, Australia, on Sunday. Photo: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Melbourne's stay-at-home orders will end five days earlier than planned, officials in Australia's second-biggest city announced Sunday.

Why it matters: The capital of the state of Victoria has had six lockdowns totaling 262 days since March last year. That means Melbourne spent longer under lockdown than "any other city in the world" during the pandemic, Reuters notes.

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