THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Friday, May 12, 2000
SUPPORTING MOMS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE AND
WORKING TO ADVANCE SMART GUN TECHNOLOGY
"Every day, nearly a dozen of our children are killed by guns. Twelve families suffer a wound that never heals. What is almost as senseless is the fact that Congress refuses to act on legislation that would prevent many of these shootings. But this Sunday, they will not be able to ignore the fact that the voices of more than 1 million moms across America will be demanding action."
President Bill Clinton
Friday, May 12, 2000
Today, in North Canton, Ohio, President Clinton met with state organizers of the Million Mom March, scheduled for Mother's Day, May 14 in Washington, D.C.and communities across the country to highlight the impact of gun violence on American families. The President expressed his strong support for these efforts and renewed his call to Congress to act on long-delayed gun safety legislation. The President also announced that the Justice Department is awarding a total of $600,000 in grants to two gun manufacturers for the research and development of smart gun technologies. A smart gun can recognize and limit its use to its proper adult owner, thereby helping to prevent accidental shooting deaths and deter gun theft.
Mobilizing Mothers and Families Against Gun Violence. On May 14, mothers and families across the country will join in the Million Mom March, a grassroots effort to focus the nation's attention on the terrible price of gun violence and to demand action to reduce the violence. The March, which is expected to draw over 150,000 mothers, fathers, children and other gun safety supporters to the National Mall, will be the largest gun safety rally in history. Emphasizing the fact that gunfire takes the lives of 12 children every day, March participants are calling for common- sense measures designed to keep guns out of the wrong hands and to prevent the accidental shootings that result in the death and injury of thousands of Americans every year.
Urging Congress to Act Now to Protect America's Children. For 10 months - despite numerous gun tragedies at schools, workplaces, and places of worship across America - Congress has refused to move forward on common-sense gun measures. The President again urged Congress to send him strong gun-safety legislation without delay that will:
- Close the gun-show loophole;
- Mandate child-safety locks with every handgun sold;
- Ban large-capacity ammunition clips;
- Bar the most violent juveniles from possessing firearms as adults; and
- Hold adults accountable if they allow children easy access to guns.
Leading an Effort to Develop Smart Gun Technology. The President announced that the Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice will award two grants of $300,000 each to Smith & Wesson and FN Manufacturing, Inc. to fund additional smart gun research and development. Smart gun technologies show tremendous promise in reducing gun violence that results when firearms are taken intentionally or accidentally from their proper owners. Smart guns have the ability to distinguish an authorized user from someone who is not permitted to fire the weapon. The National Institute of Justice has supported smart gun research in response to FBI data showing that over the past decade, 113 weapons were stolen from police officers, and 57 officers were killed with their own guns. In this year's budget, the President has proposed a $10 million initiative to expand the research, development and replication of smart gun technologies, and has proposed a state-based licensing plan that requires all new handgun purchasers to be trained in the proper handling and storage of firearms.
The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives