President Clinton Calls on City Leaders to Join in the Fight Against Gun Violence


THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary


For Immediate Release March 12, 2000



PRESIDENT CLINTON CALLS ON CITY LEADERS TO JOIN IN THE FIGHT AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

In his address to the National League of Cities today, President Clinton will call on local officials to join him in the fight for common sense gun safety measures. Citing recent tragic shootings, the President will emphasize the importance of providing communities with more tools to fight gun violence -- not fewer. Unfortunately, he will point out, some Republicans seem determined to block progress. Just days after the Presidentís meeting to push key Congressional leaders forward on stalled gun safety legislation, the House Appropriations Committee threatened to undermine the Department of Housing and Urban Developmentís $15 million Gun Buyback Program to take guns off the street and out of circulation. The President will urge Congress to resist the mounting pressures of the gun lobby by putting the concerns of American families first, and working to pass life-saving, common sense gun reforms before April 20 -- the anniversary of the Columbine killings.

PROTECTING LOCAL RESOURCES TO COMBAT GUN VIOLENCE. Even in the wake of recent gun-related tragedies, the House Appropriations Committee this past week nearly gutted HUDís $15 million Gun Buyback program. The HUD program provides matching grants to public housing authorities and local police agencies to help launch community gun buyback programs that will take an estimated 300,000 firearms off the street and out of circulation in America. By reducing the number of firearms in circulation, gun buyback programs can help prevent accidental shootings, gun suicides, and unauthorized gun use, helping to reduce the toll of gun violence. To date, over 80 communities of all sizes and across all regions -- including communities recently impacted by gun violence such as Flint, Michigan and Memphis, Tennessee -- have been approved for HUD grants and plan to hold local buyback programs this year. If efforts to undermine the HUD Gun Buyback program had been successful, these local initiatives would have been placed in jeopardy. The original supplemental appropriations bill before the House Appropriations Committee included language to rescind FY 2000 funding for HUDís buybacks. After the Administration voiced its objections, the rescission language was dropped, but a subcommittee chairman continued to issue threats against the buyback program. The President today will note that it is simply unconscionable now to deny communities the tools to get more guns off the streets.

PUSHING FOR PROGRESS ON STALLED 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. The President today will once again challenge Congress to stand up to the gun lobby and pass common sense gun safety legislation by April 20 -- the one-year anniversary of the tragic shooting at Columbine High School. Specifically, he will call on the Congress to: require background checks at gun shows; mandate the sale of child safety locks with handguns; bar the importation of high capacity ammunition clips; and hold adults accountable if they allow children easy access to loaded guns that are later used to kill or maim. Although Congressional Democrats have urged the Republican leadership to schedule a meeting within the next two weeks to break the logjam, the gun lobby has mobilized against the legislation and all efforts to make progress. The President will reiterate his call for Congressional leaders to work in good faith, work out their differences, and pass this life-saving legislation without further delay.

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

Restoring

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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