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NRA Praises U.S. House For National "Project Exile" Passage

Tuesday, April 11, 2000

(WASHINGTON, D.C.)--While President Clinton was engaged in "the theatre of press conference politics," the U.S. House of Representatives voted 358-60 to adopt Project Exile nationwide, an effective law enforcement program endorsed by the National Rifle Association since its beginning in Richmond, Virginia three years ago. "This is a day that perfectly exemplifies what the entire debate is about," said James Jay Baker, executive director of the NRA`s Institute for Legislative Action. "While Bill Clinton was performing in the theatre of press conference politics, the United States House of Representatives was passing legislation to take a proven, tough law enforcement program nationwide. Today highlights the difference between political theatre and proven, effective public policy." Project Exile began as a Richmond, Virginia effort to fully enforce existing federal laws against violent criminals with guns and drug dealers carrying guns on the streets of that city. In three years, the gun murder rate in Richmond has been cut in half and the program has been adopted with similar success in Rochester, Birmingham, Oakland, and other cities. In recent months, the states of Virginia, Pennsylvania, Texas, South Carolina, and Colorado have adopted state models of the program, and a number of other cities and states are considering similar programs. "We have supported Project Exile, both politically and financially, for three years," Baker explained. "Today`s vote in the House is a tremendous step toward NRA`s goal of a national effort to do what the Clinton-Gore Administration has refused to do, that is, fully enforce existing tough laws against violent felons who illegally carry and misuse guns. And it`s a step that the overwhelming majority of Americans want --tough enforcement of current laws, instead of layer upon layer of new laws that only restrict the rights of law-abiding gun owners." According to Syracuse University, federal prosecutions of gun laws decreased by almost fifty percent during the Clinton-Gore Administration, while federal referrals to state authorities for prosecutions decreased by thirty percent. "It is unfortunate that the House today had to take this step toward better enforcement of existing laws, when Bill Clinton and Al Gore have had the power to implement this program since they came into office," Baker said. "I applaud the Members of Congress for understanding what the President apparently does not --criminals only pay attention to tough enforcement of the law."

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.