By: Teresa Mull

Attorney General William Barr has announced a new Justice Department initiative called “Project Guardian” that Barr says will help federal and local law enforcement “better target offenders who use guns in crimes and those who try to buy guns illegally.”

The New York Times reports Regina Lombardo, the acting deputy director of the bureau, said in her public remarks the new initiative will “cut the pipeline of crime guns from those violent individuals who seek to terrorize our communities.”

Gun control advocates are reportedly not pleased with the scope of Project Guardian because it does not include any new laws.

The Times reports:

Mr. Barr said local law enforcement would work more closely with the United States attorney’s 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 prosecutor’s offices will share more information with local law enforcement, and work with mental health organizations to assess whether treatment could improve public safety.

Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at [email protected].