Enforcing existing law..
Justice Dept. Unveils Gun Plan, Sidestepping a Preoccupied Washington
By Katie Benner
Nov. 13, 2019
WASHINGTON Attorney General William P. Barr unveiled a new Justice Department initiative on Wednesday to tackle gun violence as Congress and the White House remain largely immobilized on the issue.
The initiative, Project Guardian, is focused primarily on strengthening partnerships among the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, federal prosecutors and state and local law enforcement to enforce and expand the use of existing gun laws. It will also create partnerships with community organizations aimed at preventing gun violence, and increase scrutiny of people convicted of violent felonies or domestic violence, potentially reducing their access to firearms.
At a news conference, Mr. Barr described Project Guardian as intended to help federal and local law enforcement better target offenders who use guns in crimes and those who try to buy guns illegally.
The result should cut the pipeline of crime guns from those violent individuals who seek to terrorize our communities, Regina Lombardo, the acting deputy director of the bureau, said in her public remarks.
Mr. Barr said local law enforcement would work more closely with the United States attorneys offices under the new initiative to consider federal prosecution in cases involving people who were arrested while in possession of a firearm, or who used guns to commit a federal crime, like drug trafficking or violent crime.
The initiative will bring more scrutiny to individuals convicted of violent felonies or misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence, and potentially restrict their access to guns. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will provide state and local law enforcement with regular lists of people who have failed their background checks.
And each federal prosecutors offices will share more information with local law enforcement, and work with mental health organizations to assess whether treatment could improve public safety.