THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON: PROMOTING GUN SAFETY AND RESPONSIBILITY 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:
David Mitchell, Maryland Superintendent of Police Attorney General Reno
Suzann Wilson, mother of Brittheny Varner, victim of Jonesboro, Arkansas shooting President Clinton