11/13/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/13/2019 13:48
Today, Attorney General William P. Barr announced the launch of Project Guardian, a new initiative designed to reduce gun violence and enforce federal firearms laws across the country. Specifically, Project Guardian focuses on investigating, prosecuting, and preventing gun crimes.
Reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws have always been among the Department's highest priorities. In order to develop a new and robust effort to promote and ensure public safety, the Department reviewed and adapted some of the successes of past strategies to curb gun violence. Project Guardian draws on the Department's earlier achievements, such as the 'Triggerlock' program, and it serves as a complementary effort to the success of Project Safe Neighborhoods (PSN). In addition, the initiative emphasizes the importance of using all modern technologies available to law enforcement to promote gun crime intelligence.
'Gun crime remains a pervasive problem in too many communities across America. Today, the Department of Justice is redoubling its commitment to tackling this issue through the launch of Project Guardian,' said Attorney General William P. Barr. 'Building on the success of past programs like Triggerlock, Project Guardian will strengthen our efforts to reduce gun violence by allowing the federal government and our state and local partners to better target offenders who use guns in crimes and those who try to buy guns illegally.'
Chad Lamar, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi emphasized the importance of the Project Guardian principles in the local efforts to reduce gun crime. 'In the Northern District of Mississippi, we work closely with ATF, our other federal law enforcement partners, and state and local law enforcement agencies to combat gun, gang, and violent crime. The principles highlighted by the Project Guardian Initiative are sensible and useful methods to help prevent and reduce violent gun crime, and are already key focal points of our District's Project Safe Neighborhoods program. We will continue to use these techniques to help keep our communities safer,' said Lamar.
'ATF has a long history of strong partnerships in the law enforcement community,' said Acting Director Regina Lombardo. 'Make no mistake, the women and men of ATF remain steadfast to our core mission of getting crime guns off of our streets. ATF and U.S. Attorneys nationwide will leverage these partnerships even further through enhanced community outreach initiatives and coordination with local, state, and tribal law enforcement and prosecutors to cut the pipeline of crime guns from those violent individuals who seek to terrorize our communities. Project Guardian will enhance ATF's Crime Gun Intelligence, to include identifying, investigating and prosecuting those involved in the straw purchases of firearms, lying on federal firearms transaction forms, and those subject to the mental health prohibition of possessing firearms.'
Project Guardian's implementation is based on five principles:
Federal law enforcement represents only about 15% of all law enforcement resources nationwide. Therefore, partnerships with state, local, and tribal law enforcement and the communities they serve are critical to addressing gun crime. The Department recognizes that sharing information with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners at every level will enhance public safety, and provide a greater depth of resources available to address gun crime on a national level.
For more information on Project Guardian, see the Attorney General's memorandum at: https://www.justice.gov/ag/project-guardian-memo-2019/download