View Header


                     Office of the Press Secretary
                         (Camp David, Maryland)
For Immediate Release                                      July 24, 2000


The Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) released promising new data today showing that the number of children killed by gunfire in America continues to decline. The HHS report shows that 3,792 children and teens were killed with guns in 1998 - a 10 percent decline from the year before. The reduction is even more significant when compared to 1994: 2,000 fewer young people were killed by gunfire in 1998 than in 1994 - a 35 percent decrease. Our combined efforts to reduce gun violence and save lives are indeed having an impact.

While these figures are encouraging, there is no question that gun violence is still far too prevalent in our nation. Despite our progress, 10 young people are killed with guns every day in America. All of us must work together toward a solution. Parents must ensure that guns are stored safely to prevent accidental shootings. Schools and communities must give children positive alternatives to steer them away from guns and violence. Law enforcement must crack down on gun traffickers who supply young people with firearms and armed criminals who commit violence against our children. And the gun industry must responsibly design, distribute and market its products to make sure that they do not fall into the wrong hands.

Congress has an important role to play as well by fully funding my $280 million National Gun Enforcement Initiative and by passing the stalled common-sense gun safety legislation that can help keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals. Working together, we can keep gun violence on the decline and the prospects for our children's future going up.