THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, June 14, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
WORKING TO REDUCE YOUTH GUN VIOLENCE
"This week, we face the test. It's time for Congress to side with our children instead of the gun lobby."
Vice President Al Gore
June 14, 1999
Today, in his address to the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Vice President Gore released a new government report showing an alarmingly high rate of gun violence among 18- to 20-year-olds. The report is part of a comprehensive strategy by the Clinton-Gore Administration to study and prevent the causes of youth violence. The Vice President also urged Congress to pass common-sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of children.
Announcing the Results of a New Study on Youth Gun Violence. In his remarks before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Vice President Gore released a new government report showing an alarmingly high rate of gun violence among 18- to 20-year-olds. The report, jointly prepared by the Departments of Treasury and Justice, shows that:
- While they comprise only 4% of the population, 18- to 20-year-olds commit over 23% of all gun murders;
- 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds ranked first, second, and third in the number of gun murders committed;
- 18- to 20-year-olds are more likely to use a gun to commit a crime than other age groups; and
- Of crime guns traced by law enforcement in 27 cities, more crime guns were possessed by 19-year-olds than any other age. Crime guns possessed by 18-year-olds ranked second.
Urging Congress to Pass Common-Sense Gun Laws. The Vice President called on the House of Representatives, who will debate gun legislation this week, to act swiftly to pass common-sense laws to protect America's children. Specifically, the Vice President called on Congress to pass into law measures that would:
- raise the legal age for handgun possession from 18 to 21;
- require child-safety locks on guns; and
- require background checks on those who buy guns at gun shows.
A Comprehensive Strategy for Preventing Youth Violence. Today's report is part of a comprehensive strategy by the Clinton-Gore Administration to study and prevent the causes of youth violence. Other steps the Administration has taken include:
- proposing common-sense legislation to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals;
- holding a strategy session to discuss children, violence and responsibility;
- ordering a study on the marketing of violence to children;
- working with the National Association of Theater Owners to enforce movie ratings; and
- challenging the entertainment industry to reduce youth exposure to violence
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