View Header


Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release June 14, 1999
          Calls on Congress to Pass Common-Sense Gun Measures 
                     to Protect America's Children

New Orleans, LA -- In his remarks before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Vice President Gore today released a new government study showing an alarmingly high rate of gun violence among 18 to 20 year olds, and urged Congress to pass measures to keep guns out of the hands of children.

The report, jointly prepared by the Departments of Treasury and Justice, shows that while 18-20 year olds make up just 4% of the population, they commit 24% of America's gun murders.

The report also found that the three age groups who commit the most gun murders are 18 year olds, followed by 19 year olds, followed by 20 years olds. In fact, the report shows that 18 year olds commit 35% more gun murders than 21 year olds; double the gun murders of 24 year olds; triple the gun murders of 28 year olds; and four times the gun murders of 30 year olds.

"Incredibly, while these 18 to 20 year olds cannot legally buy a beer, cannot purchase a bottle of wine, cannot order a drink in a bar, they can walk into any gun shop, pawn shop, or gun show in America and buy a handgun," Vice President Gore said.

The Vice President called on the U.S. House of Representatives, who will debate gun measures this week, to act now and pass on a bipartisan basis common sense measures to protect America's children.

"Will we let the NRA call the shots in Washington or will we cross party lines to make our children safer?" Vice President Gore asked. "Now is the time for every parent, every citizen, every elected official, every national leader, to take a stand, and to stand up and be counted. No more delays, no more fuzziness, and no more excuses -- we need strong action, and strong leadership today."

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.