On Wednesday, November 13, 2019, U.S. Attorney General William Barr unveiled a new federal gun control program called Project Guardian. The AG vowed to enforce gun regulations “with a vengeance.”
Joe Wolverton, II, at the Tenth Amendment Center argues that Barr is “committing actual offenses against the Constitution, namely infringing on the right of the people to keep and bear arms, as protected by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
“I have long believed that the first duty of government is to protect the safety of our citizens,” Barr said before the press at an event in Memphis where this gun control program was announced.
Wolverton notes that the “federal government was NOT given the power by the states to protect the citizens of those states.”
He cites James Madison in Federalist 45:
The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce.
In essence, gun control programs do not fall within the federal government’s jurisdiction.
Properly understood, the Second Amendment of the Constitution prohibits the federal government from infringing on the right to keep and bear arms.
By trying to enforce gun control “with a vengeance”, the government is effectively admitting that it fears an armed populace. Additionally, Wolverton highlighted how veterans tend to be a group that is commonly denied their right to bear arms because of their previous experience using them.
According to Barr, Project Guardian is an updated version of a previous effort — Project Triggerlock.
Barr believes that Project Guardian would “revamp this program [Project Triggerlock], resuscitate it, and double down on it nationwide.”
By promising to “double down”, Barr is only giving the federal government more power to infringe on the gun right of law-abiding individuals.
In Barr’s view, Project Guardian will succeed based on the “success” on the D.C. Swamp’s “initiatives focused on drug organizations, gangs, and gun offenders.”
However, Barr gets a reality check when Wolverton argues that “the federal government’s ‘War on Drugs’ has not ended drug abuse and drug-related crime.”
Due to the expansive nature of this program, federal agents will likely be teaming up with local law enforcement to enforce these unconstitutional actions.
Back in 2014, Judge Andrew Napolitano discussed the nature of this unholy partnership and how free citizens can prevent it from enforcing gross violations of civil liberties.
“The federal government does not have the person power and resources to enforce all federal laws on its own,” Napolitano stated. “It needs the assistance of state and local police as well. They don’t have that in Washington and Colorado because marijuana is lawful there, so it might be impractical and be too costly for the feds to enforce there.”
“Our home state of New Jersey could not, for example, use the police to frustrate federal law enforcement. What it could say to state and local police [is] ‘you will not cooperate.’ That will make federal enforcement of tighter federal gun laws nearly impossible,” Napolitano continued.
“If the federal government limits guns in a state, will it need the assistance of state police to enforce those limitations?” the judge asked. “Yes, they will. And do the states have the right to refuse to enforce federal law that’s against state public policy? Yes, they do. That’s where we are on this.”
Right there, Napolitano provided the keys to battling federal infringements. But Napolitano did not invent this concept.
Founding Father James Madison asserted that states acing “unwarrantable measures” of the federal government should establish their “refusal to co-operate with the officers of the Union” to curtail the federal government’s “long train of abuses.”
No matter who’s in office, state governments should always be prepared to stand against unconstitutional power grabs from the federal government.