Police Call for Enforcement of Gun Laws, Not Rhetoric

July 7, 2008 - 7:02 PM

Washington (CNSNews.com) - Law enforcement officers from around the country called on President Bill Clinton Thursday to stop politicizing law enforcement in his attempts to push for more gun control legislation.

During a press conference on Capitol Hill, the officers said they are unhappy with Clinton's record on enforcing the law, citing a 46 percent drop in criminal prosecutions since Attorney General Janet Reno took control of the Department of Justice.

The Law Enforcement Alliance of America (LEAA) launched an ad campaign this week opposing the president, congressional Democrats and other gun control advocates in the drive for newer, stricter gun control laws.

"This president, almost on a daily basis, exploits the rank-and-file of the law enforcement community to further his anti-gun agenda, yet his own administration has a reprehensible record of prosecuting criminals who violate the laws already on the books," said Jim Fotis, executive director of the LEAA.

Fotis said so-called gun buy back programs, which the president is pushing today in a separate event at the White House, do nothing but provide criminals with more money to buy better guns.

"It is an insult to the injured and maimed police officers and all in law enforcement who risk their lives on a daily basis to even consider more gun legislation, not to mention releasing convicted terrorists for politically motivated reasons," Fotis said.

The LEAA dismissed Clinton's appearance with a group of police chiefs calling for more gun control legislation as "another political photo-op to push his anti-gun agenda."

In addition to the Clinton Administration's record on prosecutions, the LEAA is also concerned that Clinton hasn't done enough to support successful law enforcement programs.

Marysville, Ohio Police Chief Rollin Kiser echoed LEAA's position on enforcement. Kiser told CNSNews.com, "There are already way too many gun control laws. They don't work if you are not going to enforce them. Why make anymore?"

Orange County, Vermont Sheriff Sam Frank also expressed dismay over the campaign for more gun control laws. Frank told CNSNews.com, "Gun control laws don't work period. Guns just don't jump out of the box and shoot people."

The alliance also cites prosecution efforts like Project Exile, a cooperative effort between local, state and federal agents using federal laws to prosecute criminals who commit a felony while possessing a firearm. Under Project Exile, criminals caught committing a felony while possessing a firearm are have fewer appeals and longer sentences.

Another of LEAA's concerns is Clinton's offer to grant executive clemency to 16 convicted Puerto Rican nationals serving prison sentences for terrorist activities against government officials and police officers between 1974 and 1983.

Senator Larry Craig (R-ID) told CNSNews.com the president is trying to operate under a double standard. By pardoning convicted terrorists linked by their convictions to existing gun control laws and now pushing for stricter gun legislation, Craig said the president wants to have it two ways.

Clinton's recent offer to reduce the 35 to 90-year prison sentences of 16 members of the Puerto Rican nationalist group Armed Forces of National Liberation (FALN) convicted for, among other things, firearms violations and conspiracy involving 130 attacks on police, elected officials and the military, was accepted by 12 of the felons.

Representative Roscoe Bartlett (R-MD) said Clinton is focusing on gun control rather than crime control. "Washington, D.C. has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation, but has previously been named 'murder capital' of the world."