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Office of the Vice President

For Immediate Release November 4, 1999

     Washington, DC -- Citing this week's workplace shootings and the

number of school shootings over the last two years as tragic examples of the need for immediate action, Vice President Al Gore today, joined by Congressional Democratic leaders, called on the Republican majority to pass meaningful gun legislation before adjourning for the year.

"There is a growing consensus in this country above party and partisanship that it is time to get the guns off our streets, out of our schools, and away from kids and criminals," Vice President Al Gore said. "That is why it is so astonishing that the Republican leadership of this Congress has practically handed the Speaker's gavel over to the gun lobby. When it comes to guns, the Republicans are letting the NRA control the agenda -- lock, stock, and barrel. It is wrong; it is outrageous; and we're going to fight them until we get the protections our families need."

The Vice President today also released a new report by the Department of Justice, which shows the importance of tough gun control measures in stopping domestic violence and protecting American women. According to this report, domestic violence still accounts for about one in five of all violent crimes against women -- and about one-third of all murders of women.

"I guarantee you this: if Republican leaders keep carrying ammunition for the gun lobby, this is going to be a major national issue and it won't go away. The dividing lines are clear: Republican leaders want to pass new protections for gun manufacturers. We want to pass new protections for families."

Gore called on Congress to pass the strong protections the Clinton-Gore administration put forth earlier this year, the most comprehensive gun legislation any Administration has put forward in over three decades. Specifically, the administration proposed:

     closing the gunshow loophole once and for all;
     reducing illegal gun running by limiting the purchase of handguns 
     to no more than one per month;
     raising the age of the youth handgun ban from 18 to 21 years of 
     banning the juvenile possession of semi-automatic assault rifles;
     halting the importation of large capacity ammunition magazines;
     requiring Brady background checks for the purchase of explosives;
     helping law enforcement trace more crime guns to their source; and
     authorizing repeat inspections to crack down on gun dealers 
     involved in illegal gun trafficking.