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May 15, 1997

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Thursday, May 15, 1997
Peace Officers Memorial / NATO-Russia Partnership

Today, President Clinton speaks at the Peace Officers Memorial in DC to honor those who have fallen in the line of duty, and to honor those who serve us every day:

The President will renew his call for Congress to pass real Juvenile Justice legislation, with new prosecutors and tougher penalties, tough measures to cut-off young people's access to guns (including child safety locks), and targeted crime prevention to steer young people away from gangs.

Two months ago, after the tragedy on the Empire State Building, the President directed the ATF to require people who buy guns to prove that they are not just passing through. Today, the President is announcing the release of new application forms to make certification of residency an unavoidable step for gun purchasers. If they can't prove residency, they can't purchase a gun.

Under President Clinton, serious crime has dropped for five years in a row, and in 1996, the number of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty dropped 30% from 1995, to its lowest level in 37 years.

Yesterday, President Clinton welcomed the historic agreement to form a practical partnership between NATO and Russia:

The agreement is a major step toward a peaceful, undivided, democratic Europe for the first time in history, and helps to pave the way for NATO to take in new members.

It builds on President Clinton's commitment to adapt NATO to new missions in a new century, to open its doors to Europe's new democracies; to strengthen its ties to non-members through the Partnership for Peace, and to forge a strong, productive relationship between NATO and a free, democratic Russia.

President Clinton said: "We can build a better Europe...with real security, real peace, and real hope for all its citizens. A more secure, peaceful, and hopeful Europe clearly means a better world for Americans in the 21st century."

Tomorrow at a White House ceremony, President Clinton will recognize the injustice done to survivors of the U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study conducted in Macon County, Alabama.

The President will issue a formal apology on behalf of the federal government, and announce new actions to ensure that the lessons learned in Tuskeegee are never forgotten.

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