Hillary Clinton renews call for gun licensing and registration
NEW YORK (CNN) -- U.S. Senate candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton renewed her call for tougher gun control legislation on Tuesday before an audience of newspaper publishers.
"We have to do more to stand up to those who refuse to believe the reality that guns do kill and that common-sense gun measures can make a difference," Mrs. Clinton said during a speech to the Newspaper Association of America's annual convention in New York.
"I believe we need a comprehensive plan to stop gun violence, and it is
one of the reasons I am running for the Senate," the first lady said.
Mrs. Clinton, who is running for the seat of retiring Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-New York), added that she supports proposals that would require the licensing and registering of all new handguns purchased in the United States.
"The moms who are marching in Washington this Sunday have it right," she
said, referring to the "Million Mom March" against gun violence scheduled for Mother's Day in the nation's capital.
March participants are also calling on lawmakers to pass gun safety legislation that has languished in Congress since last summer.
"We license drivers before they get behind the wheel to make sure they can drive safely. We register cars to make sure someone is responsible for every vehicle on the road. But we don't do the same for deadly weapons," she said.
Mrs. Clinton plans to attend the march with a delegation from New York.
If elected to the Senate, Mrs. Clinton said she'd work with Sen. Dianne
Feinstein (D-California) on her bill that would require prospective gun buyers to first obtain a gun license by passing a background check and a safety course exam. The bill would also establish a national registry to record all gun sales.
Mrs. Clinton also announced her support for the creation of a "ballistic database" for all new guns, requiring gun makers or sellers to fire guns before sale and send that "ballistic fingerprint" to law enforcement.
Mrs. Clinton suggested that the idea -- proposed earlier this year by New York Gov. George Pataki (R) and included in the government's landmark legal settlement with gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson -- should be implemented nationally.
"What we would have is a national database of these images that law
enforcement officers could use to quickly track down the origins of guns found at their crime scenes and the criminals who use them," Mrs. Clinton said.
The first lady reiterated her support to require trigger locks on
handguns, to hold adults responsible for their children's use of guns, to raise the youth handgun ban from age 18 to 21, to limit gun sales to one per month per adult and to have the Consumer Products Safety Commission regulate guns.
"It doesn't make much sense that we regulate toy guns but not real guns," Mrs. Clinton said.
New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, Mrs. Clinton's likely Republican
opponent in the Senate race, shares many of her views on gun control.
For example, Giuliani's campaign staff specified that he also supports
handgun licensing and a national registry of handguns. As mayor, Giuliani signed legislation requiring trigger locks whenever guns are sold in the city and outlawing the sale of toy guns that resemble real guns.
Giuliani also supported the federal assault weapons ban signed by
President Clinton and supports Clinton's proposal for background checks at gun shows.
The NAA, which hosted Mrs. Clinton Tuesday, is a trade group representing papers responsible for 90 percent of the daily U.S. circulation.
"I'm a great fan of daily and even weekly papers," Mrs. Clinton told the
audience, when asked for her professional advice.
"There are many issues that are of long term impact on our people and our economy, and it's very hard to break through all the other information that is out there to get the focus that a democracy needs," Mrs. Clinton said.
"I don't know how we do a better job of that," she continued. "Often times in the public arena, it's hard to muster the concern of people generally because the information is just not getting through."
Texas Governor George W. Bush is scheduled to speak at the NAA convention Thursday.