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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release July 8, 1998
                             July 8, 1998

Today, President Clinton announces three new steps that the Administration will take to continue to promote gun safety and responsibility throughout the country. Specifically, the Administration will: (1) require federally licensed gun dealers to post signs and issue warnings concerning juvenile handgun possession; (2) call on states and Congress to pass Child Access Prevention legislation; and (3) partner with the State of Maryland to reduce gun-related violence.

Warning Prospective Gun Purchasers

      The Youth Handgun Safety Act.  Passed as part of the 1994 Crime 
     Act, the Youth Handgun Safety Act generally prohibits juveniles 
     from possessing handguns and adults from transferring handguns 
     to juveniles.  Today, in response to a directive issued by the 
     President on June 11, 1997, the Treasury Department will announce 
     the publication of a final regulation requiring all federally 
     licensed gun dealers to post signs and issue written warnings 
     that state the following:

          (1) The misuse of handguns is a leading contributor to 
          juvenile violence and fatalities;

          (2) Safely storing and securing firearms away from 
          children will help prevent the unlawful possession of 
          handguns by juveniles, stop accidents and save lives;

          (3) Federal law prohibits, except in certain limited
          circumstances, any one under 18 years of age from 
          knowingly possessing a handgun, or any person from 
          selling, delivering or otherwise transferring a handgun 
          to a person under 18; and

          (4) A knowing violation of the prohibition against, 
          selling, delivering or otherwise transferring a handgun 
          to a persons under 18 is, under certain circumstances, 
          punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Holding Gun-Owning Adults Accountable for Child Safety

      Nationwide Child Access Prevention (CAP) Laws.  President 
     Clinton will call on states to promote gun safety and 
     responsibility by passing Child Access Prevention (CAP) laws that 
     hold adults responsible if they allow children easy access to 
     loaded firearms.  Fifteen states have already enacted such CAP 
     laws.  The President will also call on Congress to pass a tough, 
     targeted federal CAP law with new penalties to punish the most 
     egregious offenders.  A recent study published by the Journal of 
     the American Medical Association found that CAP laws reduced 
     fatal unintentional shootings by an average of 23%.

Partnering With State and Local Law Enforcement

      Maryland Gun Enforcement Initiative.  Building on the President's
     Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative, the Administration will
     partner with the State of Maryland to launch a joint ATF-Maryland
     State Police initiative effort to trace every crime gun seized in 
     the state.  Additionally, Maryland will target "Youth Gun HotSpots"
     throughout the state; expand enforcement of the state's CAP law; 
     and establish an Office of Gun Enforcement to coordinate these 
     efforts and generally facilitate gun investigations.

Program of Particpants:
Secretary Rubin
David Mitchell, Maryland Superintendent of Police Attorney General Reno
Suzann Wilson, mother of Brittheny Varner, victim of Jonesboro, Arkansas shooting President Clinton