House Republicans followed through April 11 on their promise to strengthen gun enforcement with a bill rewarding states that impose tough mandatory minimum sentences on gun-toting criminals. But anti-gun Democrats urged them to go a step further and approve new gun control legislation.
The House, by 358-60, passed Rep. Bill McCollums (R-FL) HR-4051. Titled "Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act of 2000," the measure provides $100 million in grants over five years for states that have mandatory sentences of five years without parole for people convicted of using or carrying firearms during a violent crime or serious drug trafficking.
HR-4051 now moves to the Senate. The bill echoes the GOP theme that the answer to the nations gun violence problem is not more gun laws but better enforcement of laws already on the books. The National Rifle Association, which has criticized the Clinton Administration for not adequately prosecuting gun violators, is an ardent supporter of the "Project Exile" legislation.
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