President Clinton's Radio Address to the Nation: New Tools to Crack Down on Internet Gun Criminals and Redice Gun Violence (9/23/00)
|                                                                         |
| Saturday, September 23, 2000 |
|                 NEW TOOLS TO CRACK DOWN ON INTERNET GUN                 |
|                    CRIMINALS AND REDUCE GUN VIOLENCE                    |
|                                                                         |

In his weekly radio address to the nation, President Clinton will announce
new steps to help strengthen enforcement of federal firearms laws and the
gun industry?s role in reducing gun violence.  First, the President will
launch the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) ?eZ Check?
website, an online system designed to prevent the use of fraudulent
firearms licenses to illegally acquire guns by mail, the Internet, or other
means.  Second, the President will announce new actions to require
federally-licensed gun manufacturers, distributors and dealers
(?licensees?) to verify the validity of federal firearms licenses before
transporting guns, and report individuals who use invalid licenses to the
ATF.  Finally, the President will call on Congress to provide even more
tools for law enforcement to crack down on gun criminals by fully funding
his $280 million National Gun Enforcement Initiative and passing stalled
common sense gun safety legislation that can help keep guns out of the
wrong hands.

LAUNCHING THE NEW ?eZ CHECK? SYSTEM.  ATF?s Federal Firearms License (FFL)
eZ Check system will provide a quick and easy way to verify the validity of
a federal firearms license online.  By logging onto the eZ Check system at, a gun seller may submit a federal firearms license
identification number and instantly receive information on the status and
authenticity of the license.  It is important for licensees to ensure they
are selling to other legitimate license-holders because they are not
required to run background checks before shipping guns to them.  ATF?s eZ
Check will help licensees from unknowingly selling to criminals and
juveniles who attempt to buy guns through the Internet, mail or classified
ads using fraudulent licenses.

Growing concerns about gun sales over the Internet.  With approximately 80
online firearms auction sites and 4,000 firearm sales-related sites,
including classified ads, personal ads and retail/wholesale firearms
dealers, the potential for illegal firearms trafficking through fake
licenses is greater than ever before.  The eZ Check system will not only
help members of the gun industry ensure that they are not selling their
products to dangerous criminals, but will also help the ATF to better
enforce our nation?s gun laws.

Fraudulent licenses used by traffickers and juveniles to get guns.  Recent
ATF investigations reveal how juveniles and illegal gun traffickers easily
obtained firearms by using fraudulent licenses:

?    Last May, two juveniles in Montclair, New Jersey were arrested after
using a fraudulent license to order four firearms over the Internet from a
gun dealer in Texas.  They were caught when a UPS driver reported them to
the police after observing that the guns were being delivered to a
residence, instead of a gun store, and that no adults were present to sign
for the package.  The students later admitted to making four additional
false licenses. Agents and investigators recovered all four firearms and
the juveniles pled guilty in state court.

?    An ATF investigation led to the federal prosecution of a former gun
dealer for creating fraudulent licenses, one of which was used to obtain
and illegally traffic over 1,100 guns in the San Francisco Bay Area.  To
date, nearly 50 of the trafficked guns have been recovered from crime
scenes and criminals after being used in crimes, including murder and bank
robbery.  The dealer is currently serving a 72-month sentence in federal

addition to launching the eZ Check system, the President will announce new
actions to: 1) require licensed gun manufacturers, dealers and wholesalers
to verify the validity of licenses before transporting firearms; and 2)
notify ATF when they are presented with an invalid license.  The Treasury
Department will propose a rule requiring licensees to comply with the
additional verification by accessing the eZ Check system or calling ATF?s
Licensing Center?s toll-free number (1-877-560-2435).  Under current law,
licensees are required to obtain copies of licenses from purchasers before
making a shipment, but are not required to ensure that these licenses are
valid or to report individuals who attempt to obtain guns using invalid
licenses to law enforcement.  These new measures will not only ensure the
highest form of accountability from the gun industry, but will also aid in
ATF?s efforts to fully enforce federal firearms laws and to crack down on
gun criminals and illegal traffickers.

INITIATIVE IN HISTORY.  To significantly bolster enforcement of our gun
laws, the President will urge Congress to fully fund his National Gun
Enforcement Initiative.  This unprecedented initiative would provide $280
million to fund over 1,000 federal, state and local gun prosecutors; hire
500 new ATF firearms agents and inspectors; expand crime gun tracing and
ballistics testing; expand the Youth Crime Gun Interdiction Initiative from
38 to 50 cities nationwide; provide $10 million for local anti-gun violence
media campaigns; and provide $10 million for smart gun research.  So far,
Congress has provided no funding for key components of this initiative,
including $150 million to hire 1,000 state and local gun prosecutors and
smart gun research funding.  These measures are critical to the
Administration?s efforts to take dangerous gun criminals off our streets
and the President will call on Congress to make them a priority.

providing more resources to strengthen gun enforcement, the President will
urge the Congress to pass common-sense gun safety legislation to help keep
guns out of the wrong hands in the first place.  This legislation, which
passed in the Senate last year with a tie-breaking vote by Vice President
Gore, would:  help keep guns out of the wrong hands by closing the gun show
loophole; mandate the sale of child safety locks with every handgun sold;
ban the importation of high capacity ammunition clips; and bar the most
violent juvenile offenders from possessing firearms as adults.

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