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                     Office of the Press Secretary
                        (San Diego, California)
Embargoed until 6:00pm,                                     May 16, 1999


Today, the FBI released preliminary data showing that crime fell another seven percent in 1998, with an eight percent decline in murder and an eleven percent decline in robbery. Crime is now down for a remarkable seventh year in a row. More community police on our streets and fewer guns in the hands of criminals have helped make our communities the safest they have been in a generation.

But tragic events like the Littleton shooting remind us that our work is far from done. We in Washington have a responsibility to support law enforcement officers and pass common sense gun legislation. We should start by closing the gun show loophole that allows criminals and juveniles to buy guns at gun shows without so much as a background check. In this way, we can keep the crime rates coming down.