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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release OCTOBER 17, 1999


The 1998 Uniform Crime Report released by the FBI today shows that serious crime has continued to fall in every region of our nation for the seventh straight year. The murder rate is at its lowest since 1967. The overall violent crime rate is down, and gun crimes, rapes, robberies, assaults, and juvenile crime have all dropped to their lowest levels in over a decade. This is good news for America's families, and it shows we can indeed turn the tide on crime.

My Administration's strategy of 100,000 more police, fewer guns in the hands of criminals thanks to the Brady Law, and more tools for communities to combat crime is working to make our streets safer and our communities stronger. But tragedies from Littleton to Los Angeles show that we must do more to protect our communities from gun violence. Even as crime falls, we must not let down our guard. That is why we must redouble our efforts to build on what works -- by fully funding our COPS program to put more police on the street, and by passing common sense gun legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands. Together we can make America the safest big nation in the world.