THE WHITE HOUSE AT WORK
Monday, May 17, 1999
PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE:
KEEPING THE CRIME RATE DOWN
“More community police on our streets and fewer guns in the hands of criminals have helped make our communities the safest they have been in a generation.”
President Bill Clinton
May 17, 1999
Today, President Clinton lauded preliminary data released last night by the FBI showing that the U.S. crime rate fell seven percent in 1998. The crime rate has now declined for seven consecutive years, due in part to more police in our communities and more restrictions to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. The President urged Congress to pass common-sense gun legislation, including a measure requiring background checks for all gun purchases at gun shows.
More Good News on Crime. Today, President Clinton lauded preliminary data released last night by the FBI showing a seven percent drop in violent and property crimes for 1998, including:
- 11% decrease in robberies;
- 8% decrease in murders;
- 5% decline in forcible rape;
- 5% decline in aggravated assault;
- 10% drop in motor vehicle theft;
- 7% decline in burglaries;
- 7% decline in arson; and
- 6% drop in larceny-thefts
These figures indicate a decline in serious crime for seven years in a row.
Achieving Success with Crime Prevention Programs. The President said that falling crime rates help confirm that his strategy of more community police and fewer guns in the hands of criminals is working. His crime-fighting strategy has included:
- winning passage of the 1994 Crime Bill;
- supporting more community policing through the COPS program;
- keeping guns out of the hands of criminals with passage of the Brady Law;
- restricting juvenile access to guns;
- promoting school safety;
- working to end domestic violence; and
- combating drug use.
Urging Congress to Pass Common-sense Gun Laws. Present law allows unlicensed sellers to sell guns at gun shows with no questions asked. The President urged Congress to pass legislation that would close the gun show loophole by requiring Brady background checks for all gun purchases at gun shows.
The White House Briefing Room
The White House at Work Archives