Clinton rips Congress after gun control defeat
June 20, 1999
Web posted at: 6:59 p.m. EDT (2259 GMT)
COLOGNE, Germany (CNN) -- President Clinton said Congress
must stop "letting the gun lobby rewrite our laws", and
called on lawmakers to "do the right thing" and work out a
compromise on gun show background checks.
"Time and again, the gun lobby has used every weapon in its
arsenal to defeat any effort to strengthen our gun laws, no
matter how sensible. This week, it sadly happened again," he
said in his weekly radio address.
The House of Representatives on Friday voted 280-147 to
reject a gun control bill that would have required background
checks for the purchase of firearms at gun shows. Democrats,
upset that the bill had been so watered down comprised a
majority of the no vote.
Currently, dealers at gun shows are required by federal law
to conduct background checks of customers -- but not private
dealers at gun shows.
Clinton said it's not too late to pass gun control
"Today, again, I say to Congress: You've still got an
opportunity --and you've still got an obligation -- to do the
right thing and pass real legislation that will strengthen
our gun laws, not weaken them," he said.
The president said Congress should mark the second month
after the shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton,
Colorado, by passing background checks at gun shows. Some of
the guns used in the Littleton attack may have been purchased
at a Denver gun show, according to investigators.
"Let us remember the children of Littleton, and indeed, honor
the memory of all the children who lost their lives to gun
violence in our country," he said.
The Senate-passed version of a juvenile justice bill includes
the gun control measure.