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VPC Lauds Introduction of Blagojevich Bill to Ban "Pocket Rockets"

The Violence Policy Center strongly supports the "Pocket Rocket Elimination Act of 2000." The bill will be introduced today, July 18, 2000 by Representative Rod Blagojevich (D-IL).

The legislation would deal with a deadly new trend in the gun industry: pocket rockets. The dangers of this new breed of handgun is detailed in a new Violence Policy Center study, POCKET ROCKETS: THE GUN INDUSTRY'S SALE OF INCREASED KILLING POWER. The 25-page study details how the gun industry has increased the lethality of its products by producing larger caliber, higher capacity, and more readily concealable handguns in order to boost sales in a stagnant market.

Tom Diaz, VPC senior policy analyst and author of Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America, joined Rep. Blagojevich (D-IL) to release the study at a news conference in Chicago on July 17, 2000.

Pocket rockets are a dangerous new ingredient in America's firearms brew. These deadly weapons are the latest example of the gun industry's insatiable quest for a higher profit margin´┐Żregardless of the number of lives lost in their greedy and deadly venture.

Reports by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) and others show that handguns move relatively quickly from the legal trade in firearms into the hands of criminals and youths. Predictably, crime gun tracing data show that as manufacturers have heavily marketed pocket rockets, these tiny but deadly pistols are moving into criminal use at a dramatically increasing rate.

The VPC strongly supports Rep. Blagojevich's legislation to ban these handguns. The legislation would ban the future sale of handgun with an overall length of less than 71/2 inches.

The Violence Policy Center is a national non-profit educational foundation that conducts research on violence in America and works to develop violence-reduction policies and proposals. The Center examines the role of firearms in America, conducts research on firearms violence, and explores new ways to decrease firearm-related death and injury.

   For Release:
   Tuesday, July 18, 2000

   Naomi Seligman
   Violence Policy Center