For Release: Thursday, January 9, 1997
The Violence Policy Center (VPC) today hailed Senator Barbara Boxer’s (D-CA) introduction of legislation to set minimum federal safety standards for domestically manufactured handguns. Senator Boxer announced the legislation at a press conference today at the Capitol at 10:30 AM in Room EF-100.
“Toy guns, toasters and teddy bears are subject to more stringent health and safety regulation than are firearms and ammunition,” states Kristen Rand, director of federal policy for the Violence Policy Center, a Washington-based research and educational foundation. “Senator Boxer’s legislation is a bold step toward ending the deadly double standard under which common household products are more heavily regulated than guns and ammunition.” The VPC has long advocated such an approach as detailed in the organization’s 1994 study Cease Fire: A Comprehensive Strategy to Reduce Firearms Violence as the most effective way to significantly reduce the nearly 40,000 deaths and more than 100,000 injuries that occur nationwide each year from firearms.
Currently, imported handguns must meet safety standards promulgated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). As a result, only domestic manufacturers may legally produce and sell “junk guns,”ï¿½cheap, inaccurate, ultra-concealable handguns. Senator Boxer’s legislation would require domestic handguns to meet the same safety standards that currently only apply to imported handguns.
“Senator Boxer’s bill would prohibit the manufacture and distribution of a hazardous consumer product. It is premised on a simple, common-sense idea: firearms should be held to the same safety standards as all other consumer products,” adds Rand.