President Clinton: Convening Congessional Leaders and Making the Case for Common Sense Gun Legislation

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 7, 2000


President Clinton today will announce the release of a new Justice Department report, Kids and Guns, showing the devastating impact that gun violence has on American children. The report shows that guns are the key variable in the recent rise and fall of juvenile homicide. The rise in murders of juveniles and by juveniles from the mid-1980ís to their peak in 1993 was entirely firearms-related -- as was their subsequent decline since 1993. Non-gun juvenile homicide remained constant during that period. The report also makes clear that even with recent declines, too many American youth are killed by gunfire: the gun homicide rate of children under 15 is sixteen times higher in the U.S. than in 25 other industrialized nations combined.

In the wake of last week's tragic shootings, the President today will also convene a meeting with Congressional leaders to break the logjam on pending common sense gun legislation. The President will ask the leaders to put the safety of American families first, and pass measures to close the gun show loophole, require child safety locks for handguns, and ban the importation of large capacity ammunition clips. The President also will call on the leaders to pass his plan to punish adults who recklessly allow children to have access to deadly weapons.

RELEASING NEW REPORT ON KIDS AND GUNS. Todayís report, prepared by the Justice Departmentís Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), contains encouraging news on recent declines in gun-related juvenile deaths, but reinforces the need to do more to keep guns out of the hands of children. Key findings include:

The findings of todayís report underscore the importance of this Administrationís efforts to reduce gun violence, including the Brady Law, the 1994 assault weapons ban, the Youth Handgun Safety Act banning juvenile handgun possession, and the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative to crack down on illegal gun traffickers who supply guns to youth. The report also reinforces the need for additional gun safety measures, like those proposed by the President, to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands.

PUSHING CONGRESS TO PASS COMMON SENSE GUN LEGISLATION. For eight months, the Congress has failed to complete action on common sense gun measures in the pending juvenile crime bill. Today the President will call on Congressional leaders to move quickly to enact into law the Senate-passed gun safety provisions to help keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals. The Senate gun provisions include:

HOLDING PARENTS RESPONSIBLE FOR CHILD ACCESS TO GUNS. The President will also call on the Congressional leaders to take a step beyond the Senate-passed provisions and pass his Child Access Prevention (CAP) proposal, which would hold adults accountable if they allow children easy access to loaded guns. Sixteen states have already adopted CAP laws. According to a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association, CAP laws help reduce fatal unintentional shootings by an average of 23 percent. The Presidentís proposed legislation would impose felony penalties on adults who knowingly or recklessly allow a child to have unlawful access to an unlocked gun that is later used to cause death or serious injury. Such adults could be imprisoned for up to three years, fined up to $250,000, or both.

LEADING AN EFFORT TO DEVELOP SMART GUN TECHNOLOGY. The President has also proposed a $10 million FY 2001 budget initiative to fund the research, development and replication of "smart gun" technologies. These state-of-the-art safety innovations would limit a gunís use to its proper adult owner -- and could prevent accidental shooting deaths, deter gun theft, and stop criminals from seizing and using the guns of police officers against them.

What's New - March 2000

Women's History Month 2000

The Minimum Wage: Increasing the Reward for Work

New Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

Meeting with Religious Leaders

Women's History Month

New Public Private Initiative to reduce Weather Related Air Travel Delays

Gun Violence

Agreement with Smith & Wesson


Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month

American Red Cross Month

Prescription Drug Plan

U.S. – China WTO Accession Deal

Common Sense Gun Laws

Irish-American Heritage Month

Civilian Research and Development

Patient's Bill of Rights

Joint Statement by President Clinton and Prime Minister Tony Blair of the UK

Vaccines to Developing Countires

Human Genome Project

Information Age

Semi-Finalists for 2000-2001 White House Fellowships

President Clinton Urges Congress to Pass Budget

Congressional Budget Resolution

Save your Vision Week

St. Patrick's Day, 2000

Clinton/Gore actions to Enhance America's Energy Security

Social Security Trustees Report - March 30, 2000

Strengthen America's Energy Security

Report Shows Unprecedented Progress

Proclamation: Cancer Control Month, 2000

National Poison Prevention Week

Education and Sharing Day, U.S.A., 2000

Greek Independence Day

Proclamation: National Child Abuse Prevention Month, 2000

Statement by the President on NPT

Common Sense Gun Legislation

Raising the Minimum Wage

U.S. --China WTO Accession Deal

U.S.- China WTO Agreement

Enforcement of The U.S. - China WTO Accession Deal

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