Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997

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Author: William J. Clinton  | Date: April 11, 1997

Statement on the Decline in Violent Crime Statistics,
April 11, 1997

Today the Department of Justice reported that violent crime dropped 12.4 percent in 1995.

Four years ago, we made a commitment to take our streets back from crime and violence. We had a comprehensive plan: to put 100,000 new community police officers on the street and tough new penalties on the books; to steer young people away from crime, gangs, and drugs; and to keep guns out of the hands of criminals with the assault weapons ban and the Brady bill.

Today we learned that the first full year of our crime bill produced the largest drop in violent crime in 22 years. Earlier this year, we learned that the Brady bill has already stopped 186,000 felons, fugitives, and stalkers from purchasing handguns.

Our plan is working. Now we must press forward. Fighting the scourge of juvenile crime and violence is my top law enforcement priority for the next 4 years. In February, I submitted my Anti-Gang and Youth Violence Strategy to Congress. This bill declares war on gangs, with new prosecutors and tougher penalties; extends the Brady bill so violent teenage criminals will never have the right to purchase a handgun; and provides resources to keep schools open late, on weekends, and in the summer, so young people have something to say yes to.

I am hopeful that Congress will pass it without delay. We must keep the crime rate coming down and every child’s prospect of a bright future going up.

Note: This statement was embargoed for release until 4:30 p.m. on April 13.

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Chicago: William J. Clinton, "Statement on the Decline in Violent Crime Statistics, April 11, 1997," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997 in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 18, 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 33:2108 Original Sources, accessed February 4, 2023, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8P2XTN7UB8ID8FK.

MLA: Clinton, William J. "Statement on the Decline in Violent Crime Statistics, April 11, 1997." Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997, in United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 18, 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 33:2108, Original Sources. 4 Feb. 2023. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8P2XTN7UB8ID8FK.

Harvard: Clinton, WJ, 'Statement on the Decline in Violent Crime Statistics, April 11, 1997' in Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, 1997. cited in , United States. Executive Office of the President, Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents, Week Ending Friday, April 18, 1997 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1997), 33:2108. Original Sources, retrieved 4 February 2023, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=8P2XTN7UB8ID8FK.