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Statement on Expiration of Assault Weapons Ban

Location: Washington, DC

Pelosi Statement on Expiration of Assault Weapons Ban

Washington, D.C.-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today on President Bush and the Republican Congress allowing the assault weapons ban to expire today:

"President Bush has disingenuously said that he supports the assault weapons ban, but his actions have clearly proven that he does not support an anti-crime measure that our police officers know is vital. By letting the assault weapons ban expire today without having lifted a finger to renew it, the President has removed all doubt on where he stands-he believes the world's most dangerous assault weapons should be allowed on American streets. If he wanted the ban renewed, he could have called on Republican congressional leaders to pass it.

"By ignoring the pleas of our law enforcement community, which sought a simple extension of a proven law that has protected them, the President has chosen to side with the special interests over police officers and crime victims. According to Justice Department data, the proportion of banned assault weapons traced to crimes has dropped by 65 percent since 1995. Allowing assault weapons back onto the streets, and thus into the hands of terrorists, criminals, and gangs, endangers the lives of our law enforcement officers and hinders our fight against terrorism.

"While allowing more guns on the street, President Bush is cutting the number of cops on the beat by reducing funds for hiring additional police officers. Democrats are working to strengthen law enforcement and to keep our communities safe by supporting the reauthorization and increased funding for the COPS program and supporting the immediate implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations."

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