Office of the Attorney General News Release Archive


Wednesday, March 22, 2000

CORNYN ANNOUNCES SUPPORT OF FEDERAL EXILE PROGRAM

Attorney General applauds Reps. McCollum, Armey and Watts

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General John Cornyn today announced his support of federal legislation dealing with Project Exile. "Project Exile: The Safe Streets and Neighborhoods Act of 2000," is a bill sponsored by U.S. Representative Bill McCollum from Florida. The bill aims to enforce laws already on the books, ensuring prison time for criminals who use guns. The federal program has the support of Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-TX) and House Republican Conference Chairman J.C. Watts (R-OK). Both are co-sponsors of the legislation.

"I support any measure that encourages tough enforcement of our laws," said Attorney General Cornyn. "Texas Exile, which aims to do the same thing, is already working and will continue to work thanks to the hard work of law enforcement in Texas."

Texas Exile was announced last September, after the Attorney General's Office received a grant from Governor George W. Bush's Criminal Justice Division. The $1.6 million grant is being used to fund prosecutors around the state who work with U.S. and District Attorneys to prosecute cases where convicted felons are caught with illegal guns.

In the near four months Texas Exile has been up and running, 48 indictments have resulted in Ft. Worth with nearly 430 guns confiscated, 17 indictments in San Antonio, 15 indictments in Austin, and nearly 15 indictments in Houston and Dallas.

Along with the prosecutors' work, an aggressive public awareness campaign continues to run in the form of radio and television ads and billboards promoting the Exile slogan "Gun crime means hard time."

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Contact Mark Heckmann, Heather Browne, or Tom Kelley at (512) 463-2050