For immediate release:
GRASSROOTS EFFORT LAUNCHED TO FIGHT FOR REPEAL AND ACTION AGAINST RENEWAL OF '94 "ASSAULT WEAPONS" BAN
November 25th, 2002
The 1994 omnibus crime bill has proven to be a dismal failure as it attempted to curb crimes committed with firearms by banning weapons and equipment that have no bearing on crime, according to a 2001 Bureau of Justice Statistics study. 
Now a group of gun owners, sharing the common goal of preventing the predictably ineffective 1994 ban on "assault weapons" and "high capacity" magazines from being renewed, have joined together to launch a citizen-action website – www.awbansunset.com – to ensure all gun owners are aware of the fact that the ban is set to expire in September 2004, to rally them to action, and to provide resources to assist them with doing so.
"The objective of this site is to ensure that the 1994 "Assault Weapons" Ban sunsets without renewal (or replacement with an even more restrictive version)," stated Michael Caswell, Executive Director and Administrator for awbansunset.com.
The organization intends to use the site as a central headquarters for fighting the ban. News updates, information on the ban and the firearms it covers, suggestions on how to write letters to elected officials, a library of downloadable materials such as flyers, posters, and information sheets, opinion essays, and message boards for public participation are among the resources the site will offer.
The group plans to attack on four points:
First, there are a surprising number of gun owners (primarily those who are not active in online discussion groups) who are not even aware that the ban included a "sunset provision" and will automatically expire in September 2004 unless renewed (or replaced with even more restrictive legislation). Printed flyers and posters displayed at gun shops, gun shows, and shooting ranges will help inform these people and direct them to the website for more information.
Second, there is a plague of negativity affecting a number of gun owners who are indeed aware of the sunset clause, but are pessimistic on the prospects of it actually occurring without new legislation replacing it first.
"In any given internet message board thread regarding the ban, there are almost always a couple of posts stating an opinion something along the lines of, ‘The ban will never go away... anyone who thinks otherwise is dreaming.’ Although these feelings are somewhat understandable, we are actually in a much better position than we could possibly hope," said Caswell.
The current political environment, along with a notable shift in public sentiment over the past several years regarding the effectiveness of gun control, make conditions very favorable to the successful "banning of the ban". The organization intends to help the firearm community feel more positive about the situation, motivating apathetic gun owners to join the fight instead of merely moping on the sidelines.
"The pessimism in the firearms community concerning positive action against gun control advocacy is indicative of the larger problem with politics today," said Steve Martin, Senior Director and a Moderator of the site. "We are only beginning to scratch the surface of what we can effect if we put our collective energies to the task."
As the third element of their campaign, the group aims to assist the overwhelming majority of gun owners who wish to actively fight against the ban by providing promotional materials that can be printed and distributed, facts and figures, assistance with writing elected officials, and an online forum specifically for discussion on the ban.
And last, the organization will help educate the general public on the truth about "assault weapons" by presenting reading materials on the website, by helping firearm enthusiasts pen editorial letters to their local publications, and by providing factual information on the fallacy of demonizing "assault weapons" to be spread by word of mouth.
"We are optimistic in a situation where we have the odds in our favor. But we cannot rest for one moment and assume someone else will fight the battle for us," Martin stated. "Our aim to show to our legislators and the public, beyond a shadow of doubt, that the key to reducing crime is not writing more laws… but rather allowing the Constitution to work for us."
For more information, visit www.awbansunset.com, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.