|HUD No. 00-155a|
|Further Information:||For Release|
|In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685||11 a.m. Thursday|
Or contact your local HUD office
List of Coalition members
|June 29, 2000|
CUOMO ANNOUNCES SAFER GUNS COALITION EXPANDS TO 515 MEMBERS
WASHINGTON Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo today announced that officials from 515 state and local governments around the nation have now joined the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition up from 411 at the end of April.
Cuomo was joined for this announcement by Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy of New York, whose husband was killed and whose son was seriously wounded by a gunman; Congressman Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island; Mayor John Fernandez of Bloomington, IN; International Association of Women Police representative Officer Jo Ann Armenta; Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association Board Member Edgar Meneses; Flint, MI, Police Chief Trevor Hampton; and close to 20 other law enforcement officials who traveled to Washington to show their support for the Coalition.
Last week, the House of Representatives approved
an amendment offered by Congressman John Hostettler to HUDs appropriations
bill that would prohibit HUD from spending funds to administer the Communities
for Safer Guns Coalition. The Senate has yet to take up the HUD appropriations
Cuomo said: "The Hostettler Amendment tries to stop HUD from working to make our nations communities safer something that no one can be against. The continued growth of the Coalition, and now the added support from the law enforcement community, shows there is a widespread belief in what it was created to do."
"The Hostettler amendment makes a bad bill worse," Cuomo said. "The amendment adds to a series of problems the Administration has already identified with the bill. Unless the Congress appropriately addresses these many concerns, I and the Presidents senior advisors would recommend to the President that he veto the bill."
"This is a matter of local control," said Congresswoman McCarthy. "More than 500 communities around the country including Nassau County have agreed to this and the Congress should not meddle."
Local officials joining Cuomo today included: Sacramento, CA, Deputy Police Chief Larry Gibbs; Bridgeport, CT, Police Lieutenant Joseph Gaudett; Washington, DC, Police Chief Charles Ramsey; Wilmington, DE, Public Safety Director David Bostrom; New Orleans, LA, Police Chief Richard Pennington; Capitol Heights, MD, Police Chief William Harrison; Lawrence, MA, Police Chief John Romero; Detroit, MI, Deputy Police Chief Sydney Bogan; Flint, MI, Police Chief Trevor Hampton; Glenarden, NJ, Police Captain William Reese; New Brunswick, NJ, Sergeant Thomas Selesky; Trenton, NJ, Deputy Police Chief John Gabauer and Police Director James Goldin; Philadelphia, PA, Chief Inspector Richard Bullock; Providence, RI, Police Chief Colonel Urbano Prignano, Jr., and Commanding Captain John Ryan; and Eagle Pass, TX, Police Chief Tony Castaneda.
Guam Governor Carl T.C. Gutierrez, who was one of the new Coalition members announced today, said: "Everyone has a stake in making our neighborhoods safer and protecting our families from harm. Keeping guns out of the hands of children, preventing firearm accidents, and stopping criminals from buying guns at will these are goals we can achieve, if we have the vision to work together. What we can not do is stand by and do nothing while gun violence ravages our communities."
Chief Hampton of Flint said: "Keeping guns out of the hands of criminals will save lives and make communities across the country safer. These are goals everyone should support."
Officials in the Coalition sign a pledge saying they support giving favorable consideration to making purchases from gun manufacturers that have adopted a set of new gun safety and dealer responsibility standards. The preference applies to comparable weapons available at a comparable price that meet law enforcement agency needs.
A purchase preference by governments for guns
that meet certain standards can act as an incentive to manufacturers to
adopt those standards much as the demand for certain types of cars
by motorists prompts auto makers to make more such vehicles.
Smith & Wesson the nations largest handgun maker became the first and so far only company to adopt new gun safety standards March 17, in a landmark agreement with the Clinton Administration and state and local officials. The standards require major changes in the design, distribution and marketing of guns to make them safer and to help keep them out of the hands of children and criminals.
The new gun safety standards are designed to reduce the toll of gun violence, which annually claims over 30,000 lives and injures another 100,000 people in crimes, accidents and suicides around the nation.
Leaders in the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition are inviting more local leaders to join them in committing to gun purchasing criteria that will favor companies that have agreed to significant safety measures. Representatives from each level of government are reaching out to their counterparts.
If other gun makers adopt the same code of conduct agreed to by Smith & Wesson, they will also get favorable consideration by Coalition members in the purchase of guns for law enforcement agencies.
The agreement signed by Smith & Wesson requires that the company, among other things: 1) Install mandatory gun locks and other child-safety devices on all guns. 2) Introduce "smart gun" technology in all newly designed handguns within three years that allows guns to be fired only by the owner. 3) Bar gun sales including gun show sales without a background check of the buyer. 4) Limit the delivery of multiple handgun sales. 5) Stop doing business with dealers responsible for selling a disproportionate number of guns used in crimes.
The agreement is the product of negotiations
between the White House, HUD, the Treasury Department and state and local
governments with Smith & Wesson that were designed to settle lawsuits
already filed against Smith & Wesson and to make new ones unnecessary.
Local governments, the federal government, and the Attorneys General of
Connecticut and New York agreed to drop pending lawsuits or not bring possible
lawsuits against Smith & Wesson after the company adopted the new standards.