THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESIDENT CLINTON MEETS WITH MILLION MOM MARCH ORGANIZERS AND RENEWS HIS CALL ON CONGRESS TO ENACT COMMON SENSE GUN LEGISLATION NOW
President Clinton today, joined by Attorney General Janet Reno and senior White House officials, will meet with key organizers of the Million Mom March. The March is scheduled for Mother's Day, May 14, in Washington and communities across the country, and its purpose is to dramatize the toll that gun violence takes every day on American families. In today's meeting, March organizers will brief the President on the status of their grassroots rallies and their efforts to push Congress and other political leaders to take common sense action on gun safety. The President will express his strong support for these efforts and will call on Congress again to act on long-delayed legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands.
MOBILIZING MOTHERS AND FAMILIES AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE. On May 14, mothers and families from across the country will join in the Million Mom March, a grassroots effort to focus the nation's attention on the terrible costs of gun violence and on the steps that can be taken to reduce the violence. Highlighting the fact that gunfire takes the lives of 12 children every day, the participants in the March will call for steps to: limit handgun sales to one per month; close the gun show loophole; crack down on bad-apple gun dealers; boost funding for the ATF to allow better oversight of the gun industry; and halt the marketing of guns to children and criminals. President Clinton today will meet with key members of the March, including several mothers who have lost their children recently to gun violence. He will be briefed on the progress of the March plans and will pledge his support for the March and its efforts to reduce gun violence.
CALLING ON CONGRESS TO ACT NOW TO PROTECT AMERICA'S CHILDREN. For ten months -- despite numerous gun tragedies at schools, workplaces, and even places of worship all across America -- the Congress has refused to move forward on common sense gun measures. The President has urged Congress to send him strong gun safety measures without delay, including provisions to close the gun show loophole; mandate child safety locks with every handgun sold; ban high capacity ammunition clips; bar the most violent juveniles from possessing firearms as adults; and hold adults accountable if they allow children easy access to deadly guns. The President has also proposed funding for "smart gun" research and development grants and a state-based licensing proposal that requires all new handgun purchasers to be trained in the proper handling and storage of firearms. And as part of his comprehensive gun violence reduction strategy, the President has also called on Congress to fund the largest national gun enforcement initiative in history. This $280 million initiative would fund 500 new ATF firearms agents and inspectors; over 1,000 new federal, state and local prosecutors; expanded gun tracing and ballistics testing; and programs modeled on Richmond's "Project Exile" and Boston's "Operation Ceasefire." The President today will renew his call on Congress to enact these proposals. Pointing out that states and communities across the country are moving ahead on common sense gun measures, the President will urge Congress to stop its stall tactics and send him a gun safety bill he can sign now.