THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Tuesday, May 18, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
ADDRESSING THE ISSUE OF VIOLENCE
"Here in Washington, we have a responsibility. We've got a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children. Our administration is fighting to do all we can to protect children."
President Bill Clinton
May 17, 1999
Last week, President Clinton addressed the issue of violence and public safety by holding a strategy session on children, violence, and responsibility; proposing the 21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act; working to close the gun show loophole; and challenging the nation to address youth violence.
A Week of Efforts to Address Violence. During the past week, President Clinton has focused on addressing the issue of violence and public safety:
Strategy Session on Children, Violence and Responsibility. Last Monday, at the White House, President Clinton led a strategy meeting to discuss youth violence and develop a plan for a national campaign to address this issue. Meeting participants included parents, children, teachers, religious leaders, law enforcement and government officials, gun manufacturers and sportsmen, and representatives of the entertainment industry. The President announced several initiatives to address the problem of youth violence, including:
- a Surgeon General's Report on Youth Violence;
- gun industry support for gun legislation in five important areas;
- public and private commitments to ensure the effective implementation of the V-Chip; and
- a National Campaign to Prevent Youth Violence.
The 21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act. Last Wednesday, the President announced that his COPS program has achieved an important milestone by helping communities to fund the hiring or redeployment of 100,000 police officers across the nation. He also proposed the 21st Century Law Enforcement and Public Safety Act -- new legislation that builds on the successful 1994 Crime Act, which has helped to cut the crime rate dramatically across the nation. This new legislation will renew the Justice Department's COPS program and include new provisions to reduce juvenile and drug crime, protect crime victims, and combat international crime and terrorism.
Working to Close the Gun Show Loophole. Last Friday, the President urged the Senate to close the gun show loophole and pass a measure requiring background checks for all gun purchases at gun shows. Closing the gun show loophole is part of the President's proposed legislation that would strengthen federal firearms laws and make it more difficult for kids and criminals to have access to guns and explosives by:
- reducing illegal gun running by limiting the purchase of handguns to no more than one per month;
- raise the age of the youth handgun ban from 18 to 21 years of age;
- ban the juvenile possession of semi-automatic assault rifles;
- halt the importation of large capacity ammunition magazines;
- require Brady background checks for the purchase of explosives;
- help law enforcement trace more crime guns to their source; and
- authorize repeat inspections to crack down on gun dealers involved in illegal gun trafficking.
Challenging the Nation to Address Youth Violence. Last Saturday, in his weekly radio address, the President outlined measures that the government and media can take to address youth violence. He criticized the Senate for its refusal to adopt simple measures to keep our children safe from guns, and called on the entertainment industry to take steps to reduce our children's exposure to gratuitous violence.
The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives