Statement By Attorney General Eliot Spitzer Regarding The Smith & Wesson Agreement

This agreement is a turning point in the fight to reduce gun violence and improve public safety throughout the nation. For the first time, a major gun manufacturer has agreed to a comprehensive set of reforms to change the way its products are designed, marketed and sold.

I commend the management of Smith & Wesson for taking this bold step, and congratulate President Clinton and his administration for facilitating this agreement.

When Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and I initiated settlement discussions with the industry last March, our goal was to serve as a catalyst for national reform. The prospects for achieving far-reaching change grew as other cities and states, and the federal government, joined the effort.

I am especially pleased that our proposal for an industry "Code of Conduct" now serves as the foundation for this particular agreement.

Today’s extraordinary announcement, however, is only a beginning. We must work together to encourage other manufacturers to sign similar agreements. In this regard, we will expand our effort to form a coalition of local, state and national officials who purchase guns for their respective law enforcement agencies. This coalition can use its market influence to encourage the rest of the gun industry to implement new safety measures.