Federal program aims to take a 'byte' out of gun traffic
July 8, 1996
Web posted at: 3:30 p.m. EDT
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton Monday ordered creation of a federal computer database to help authorities track down gun traffickers, especially those selling guns to minors. (221K AIFF or WAV sound) The anti-crime effort involves the collection of information from local police in 17 cities every time a young person uses a gun in a crime.
The data will be used to "give us a much better idea how the black market in guns actually operates and how to break it," the president said at a White House ceremony. An order signed by Clinton directs the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to work with local law enforcement agencies on the nationwide initiative.
The cities in the program are: Atlanta; Baltimore; Birmingham, Ala.; Boston; Bridgeport, Conn.; Cleveland; Inglewood, Calif.; Jersey City, N.J.; Memphis; Milwaukee; New York; Richmond, Va.; St. Louis; Salinas, Calif.; San Antonio; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.
The database will "significantly increase (the federal government's) ability to cross-check serial numbers and gun purchases," White House spokesman Mike McCurry said earlier.
Watching as Clinton signed the order was Joseph Chery of Boston, whose 15-year-old son, Louis Brown, was killed by a stray bullet in 1993 while on his way to a Christmas party. Brown, who belonged to a group called Teens Against Gang Violence, had dreamed of becoming the first African-American president of the United States, his father said. (179K AIFF or WAV sound)
After his son's death, Chery quit his accountant's job and began speaking out against drugs, guns and gang violence as executive director of Boston Against Drugs.
He and his wife, Clementina, created the Louis Brown "peace curriculum," which is taught to students in Boston's schools using lessons from the slain boy's life.
- Dole calls for tough measures to combat juvenile crime July 6, 1996
- Jury: Parents must pay for son's crimeMay 9, 1996
- New drug plan targets youth, crime Apr 26, 1996
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