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Smith & Wesson to Help Clinton Administration Fight Gun Violence

Aired March 17, 2000 - 12:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: The administration is, at this hour, poised to announce what is billed as an historic settlement with the giant gun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson. Sources tell CNN the company will do -- agree to change how guns are designed, made and marketed. This comes after the government announced plans to sue the gun industry over gun crimes in public housing. We hope to go to that event later in this half hour.

But right now, CNN justice correspondent Pierre Thomas has been following the story.

Pierre, what more can you tell us about this?

PIERRE THOMAS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Again, this involves a manufacturer and gun safety. You have Smith & Wesson, a major gun manufacturer known throughout the country and the world even, basically saying it will help the federal government and local law enforcement fight gun violence. This will involve, we're told, smart gun technology, also safety locks.

So, much of the debate about gun safety locks could be dealt with in part by Smith & Wesson and major manufacturers coming forward and saying: We will do this voluntarily.

MESERVE: Is this deal done?

THOMAS: Well, my sources are telling me that the details are still being worked out and that we will find out the essence of the agreement when the announcement is made, we are told, in a few minutes -- within the half hour.

MESERVE: So, this is more than a symbolic agreement?

THOMAS: No. What we are being told is that this gun manufacturer, Smith & Wesson, is agreeing to specific steps which will help stem the tide of gun violence. So, they will be ticking off, we are told, a number -- numerous steps to help fight gun violence, particularly in public housing.

MESERVE: Is the hope that other gun manufacturers will follow suit?

THOMAS: Well, because of Smith & Wesson's historic, sort of, position in American culture, it's known for the West. And because they're stepping forward and taking some steps, this could be a signal to the industry that maybe it's time to do a deal.

MESERVE: Pierre Thomas, thanks.

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