Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Targeting Criminals, Not Gun Owners

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Targeting Criminals, Not Gun Owners

Beginning in 1997, police in Richmond, Va., began carrying a wallet-sized card (above) that outlined the existing law to prosecute felons caught in possession of a gun.

The card also advised police officers:

“Always ask if the suspect used drugs, i.e., cocaine, heroin, marijuana. Most suspects will deny dealing but readily admit using and that’s all we need to make a federal gun case.”

Billboards across Richmond carried a stark and simple warning:

“An illegal gun gets you five years in federal prison.”

It’s a message--and a sentence--that criminals literally got.

Striking Fear in the Heart of a Killer It was called Project Exile, the brainchild of then-Assistant u.s. Attorney David Schiller, an aggressive effort to arrest, indict, incarcerate, prosecute and sentence every armed felon in Richmond.

It’s precisely what nra has preached for 20 years. So nra immediately made a $100,000 donation and launched a campaign for public support.

Project Exile meant zero tolerance for criminal gun use. No deals. No plea-bargains. No bail. No exceptions. Commit a crime with a gun and you’re done.

It worked like this: A police officer arrests a suspect carrying a gun. He asks the suspect the questions on the card. If the suspect answers “yes”--bang--he’s nailed on a federal gun crime. Conviction meant a mandatory five years in federal prison. No questions asked.

Did it work?

According to police, drug dealers would commonly throw down their guns before running to avoid the punishment they knew Project Exile delivered.

Many criminals stopped carrying a gun when Project Exile was instituted. A Richmond police sergeant reported that when he stopped and searched one suspect, “Right out of his mouth, he goes, ‘Exile will give you five years. I’d be an old man when I got out.’” The man was unarmed.

The bigger picture was much more dramatic:

» In less than two years, Exile had taken 350 armed felons off the streets. Most of those it sent to prison for 4½ years.

» It broke apart a violent gang and helped solve several murders.

» It cut the “gun carry” rate among arrested suspects by more than half.

» All told, it cut Richmond’s murder rate by 62 percent.

So it’s not surprising that in Rochester, Philadelphia, Fort Worth, San Francisco, Birmingham and beyond, one city and state after another has adopted Richmond’s Project Exile model.

Project Exile said with merciless certainty that guns are for the law-abiding, and it’s proof of what nra has been saying for decades: Get tough on criminals, not on our right to own guns, and crime will disappear.

Exiling Armed Felons Nationwide In May 2001, President George Bush introduced a new national effort--Project Safe Neighborhoods--and he pointed to Project Exile as inspiration for the program.

Project Safe Neighborhoods is a nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime by networking existing local programs that target gun crime and providing those programs with additional tools necessary to be successful. The Bush administration committed over $1 billion to this effort in its first four years to put federal muscle behind state and local gun-crime prosecutions.

A companion program is Operation CeaseFire, a joint local, state and federal initiative to aggressively prosecute individuals who unlawfully use, possess or transfer firearms.

Thanks to nra support, prosecution of criminals--not banishment of guns--is the new and effective theme for law enforcement and jurisprudence nationwide.

IN THIS ARTICLE
Crime & Criminal Justice
TRENDING NOW
Democrats' Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

News  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Democrats' Exciting New Hope Adheres to Tired Old Anti-Gun Dogma

Democrats searching for a standard-bearer in the 2020 presidential election lit on long-time entertainment, media, and publishing figure Oprah Winfrey this week, following a speech Winfrey gave at a televised Hollywood extravaganza.

Virginia: Gun Control Tops New Governor’s Agenda

News  

Friday, January 12, 2018

Virginia: Gun Control Tops New Governor’s Agenda

This week, Virginia Governor McAuliffe and Governor-Elect Ralph Northam outlined their top priorities for the upcoming legislative session, and highlighted expanded background checks for all firearm sales and other transfers (so-called “universal” background checks) as ...

Washington: Senate Law & Justice Committee to Hear Anti-Gun Bills Next Monday

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Washington: Senate Law & Justice Committee to Hear Anti-Gun Bills Next Monday

On Monday, January 15th at 10:00AM, the Senate Law & Justice Committee is scheduled to hear multiple anti-gun bills.  Testimony will be limited during the hearing, so all NRA members and Second Amendment supporters are strongly ...

Washington: Substitute Versions of Gun Control Bills to Be Heard

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Washington: Substitute Versions of Gun Control Bills to Be Heard

Last night, anti-gun legislators introduced substitute bills for Senate Bill 5444 and Senate Bill 5463.  These substituted versions will replace the original bills that are scheduled for a public hearing on Monday, January 15th. NRA remains opposed ...

Friday, January 12, 2018

Florida Alert: League of Women Voters Off The Rails

On Thursday, January 11, 2018, the League of Women Voters’ lobbyist, Stephanie Owens of Tallahassee, was in the House Judiciary Committee meeting to oppose HB-55 on behalf of the League.        

Indiana: Gun Bills Filed

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Indiana: Gun Bills Filed

With the 2018 Indiana legislative session underway, a number of bills affecting your Second Amendment and hunting rights have been filed.

Washington: Gun Control Bill Scheduled for Vote in House Judiciary

Friday, January 12, 2018

Washington: Gun Control Bill Scheduled for Vote in House Judiciary

Next Thursday, January 18th, House Bill 1122 is scheduled for a vote in the House Judiciary Committee. Introduced by Representative Ruth Kagi (D-34) in 2017, HB 1122 received a public hearing last year and a ...

Unhappy New Year for California Gun Owners

News  

Friday, January 5, 2018

Unhappy New Year for California Gun Owners

While most of America was busy preparing to celebrate the New Year, gun owners in California were scrambling to lawfully purchase ammunition while they still could. Beginning January 1, all ammunition sales were required go ...

Colorado: Pro-Gun Legislators Renew Push to Repeal Magazine Limit

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Colorado: Pro-Gun Legislators Renew Push to Repeal Magazine Limit

Yesterday, Senator Owen Hill, and Representatives Lori Saine and Stephen Humphrey introduced Senate Bill 52, legislation that seeks to repeal the misguided 2013 law that limited the amount of ammunition a firearm magazine can hold.

Virginia: Dangerous Gun Control Agenda Looming as Legislature Convenes for its 2018 Legislative Session

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Virginia: Dangerous Gun Control Agenda Looming as Legislature Convenes for its 2018 Legislative Session

As the Virginia General Assembly reconvenes for the 2018 session, it is more imperative than ever for NRA members and gun owners to make their voice heard.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.