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Project Guardian


Project Guardian

Report Illegal Firearms Activity



Project Guardian is complementary to PSN and other current Department efforts to combat violent crime. Project Guardian is designed to ensure that each United States Attorney's Office (USAO) develops and maintains a robust and effective gun crime prosecution strategy, in conjunction with ongoing PSN efforts to reduce violent crime. Project Guardian will accomplish this goal through enhanced and strategic investigation and prosecution of individuals and organizations involved in the illegal acquisition or attempted acquisition, possession, use, and, trafficking of firearms.

A key feature of Project Guardian is a focus to coordinate responses to mental health denials of firearms purchases.  NICS denials based on mental health adjudications described by 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(4) should command the Department's increased attention and scrutiny. United States Attorney’s offices consider, when the record supports it, recommending court-ordered mental health treatment as part of any sentence issued.  Should you or a loved one be in need of mental health services, a link of providers can be found [here ] in case of emergency, call 911

Reducing gun violence and enforcing federal firearms laws are among the Department's highest priorities. Working with our law enforcement partners across the country, we have seen our combined efforts to fight violent crime pay off, as the violent crime rate fell 3.9 percent between 2017 and 2018, after troubling increases in 2015 and 2016. Even with these positive results, too much gun violence still plagues too many communities, and it is particularly traumatizing when it impacts our schools, houses of worship, workplaces, and public gatherings. This Department must not be complacent when there is more we can accomplish to make America safer. This Department is committed to decreasing vigorously, effectively, and immediately the gun violence that deprives too many communities of the safety and security they need to flourish.

We further strengthen and recommit our efforts to reduce gun violence through the launch of Project Guardian. Project Guardian will build upon Triggerlock's and PSN's focus on coordination with all law enforcement partners to maximize the impact of federal prosecution resources. In addition, Project Guardian will assure that the Department vigorously enforces the laws that ensure effective operation of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), and will also improve information-sharing by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) when a prohibited individual attempts to purchase a firearm and is denied by the NICS, to include taking appropriate actions when a prospective purchaser is denied by the NICS for mental health reasons. Finally, Project Guardian will create greater coordination under, and use of, ATF Crime Gun Intelligence Centers (CGICs), which employ modern technology and intelligence-gathering methods to assist law enforcement in investigating and preventing gun crimes.

Updated September 1, 2020

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