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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 21, 1999


Today, Senator Schumer released an important new report that shows us how vital it is for us to change the way the gun industry does business. The report contains more evidence that a very small proportion of gun dealers is linked to a very high proportion of crime guns traced by police. It also shows that most of the guns that end up in the hands of criminals first pass through a middleman -- for instance, a straw purchaser or an illegal gun trafficker. That is why I have pushed Congress to pass common-sense gun measures to crack down on traffickers who supply guns to criminals. And that is why my Administration has begun to engage the gun industry on a range of steps the industry itself can take.

Thanks to the Brady law, our increased support for state and local law enforcement, and other steps we've taken, gun violence in America is down. But no one believes it is down far enough. The message of today's report is simple: It's time for Congress and the gun industry to help clamp down on bad dealers and stem the flow of guns to criminals. It's time for Congress and the gun industry to help us make our country safer. I hope this report will help push that cause forward.