HUD Archives: News Releases

HUD No. 00-324
Further Information: For Release
In the Washington, DC area: 202/708-0685 Wednesday
Or contact your local HUD office November 15, 2000


WASHINGTON - One of the nation's premiere gun safety organizations is honoring U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo tonight for his accomplishments in the field of gun-violence reduction.

Cuomo is delivering remarks at the ninth annual Stop the Violence awards ceremony sponsored by the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence (CPHV). Sarah Brady will present Cuomo with the N.T. "Pete" Shields Award, given annually for national leadership and vision on the issue of gun violence. Shields was one of the founders of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence and a guiding force behind the gun safety issue for almost 20 years. Shields lost his son to gun violence in the early 1970's. Shields passed away in 1993 but his memory has lived on through the Center and this award

In announcing the award, Ms. Brady said, "Besides working to improve conditions in America's public housing and expand housing opportunities to our nation's homeless, Secretary Cuomo has been a leading voice in President Clinton's Administration to help reduce gun violence in this country. In 2000, Secretary Cuomo broke new ground when he led HUD's efforts to negotiate a historic agreement with America's largest handgun manufacturer - Smith & Wesson - to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children."

Other winners of the Pete Shields Award include President Clinton, Janet Reno, Gregory Peck, Art Buchwald and Ed Welles.

Sarah and Jim Brady helped establish The Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. Jim Brady is a former White House Press Secretary who was shot and seriously injured during an assassination attempt on President Reagan in 1981. His experiences led him to help found CPHV, the non-profit organization committed to working with educators, doctors, lawyers, researchers, the media, law enforcement and the entertainment industry to reduce gun violence in America. It is the sister organization of Handgun Control. Sarah Brady is the Chair of both organizations and Jim Brady sits on the Center's Board of Trustees.

Cuomo, in accepting the award, had praise too for the work of Sarah Brady and CPHV, noting that while the Presidential race may still be undecided, there is no question that November 7th was a tremendous victory for the movement to reduce gun violence and pass common sense gun laws in this country.

"I believe that the number of Americans who favor gun safety measures is growing daily," Cuomo said. "We already have evidence of vast public support for sensible gun safety measures. But last week's elections brought this issue into more clear focus. Voters in both Oregon and Colorado, states with large numbers of hunters and sportsmen, clearly said, 'Enough!' They approved by comfortable margins measures that will close the gun show loophole by requiring background checks of all buyers at gun shows. And the gun lobby is getting the message, giving us real hope for the first time that the new Congress will pass common-sense gun-safety measures."

Cuomo has led many initiatives within HUD to promote the issue of gun safety which are part of a larger effort by the Clinton Administration to make America safer, including:

  • Nearly 600 communities have joined the Communities for Safer Guns Coalition, pledging to support purchasing preferences for responsible gun manufacturers.

  • In March, HUD and the Treasury Department signed a historic agreement with Smith & Wesson to implement a "code of conduct" to increase gun safety and keep guns out of the hands of criminals and children.

  • More than 21,000 guns have been purchased and destroyed in 80 cities during the first year of HUD's Buyback America program, which the President announced in September 2000 as an initiative to reduce gun-related deaths and injuries.

  • The President proposed to Congress the largest national firearms enforcement initiative in history. For fiscal year 2001, the initiative would provide $280 million to: hire 500 new agents and inspectors for the Treasury Department's Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms; hire more than 1,000 prosecutors at all levels of government; fund new gun tracing and ballistics testing systems to catch more criminals who use guns; fund local media campaigns to discourage gun violence; and expand the development of "smart gun" technologies.


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