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October 6, 2009

New NSSF Long-form AR-15 Educational Video


The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s educational campaign on modern sporting rifles has added a new long-form video (long for the Web anyway, five minutes) to accompany its 30- and 60-second messages. The campaign is designed to reach a wide audience in the hunting and target shooting community, with emphasis placed on educating sportsmen whose preference for traditional-looking firearms can lead them to misunderstand AR-15-platform rifles and to even describe them as “assault weapons,” which inadvertently lends support to elected officials and organizations who want to ban these rifles.

Some hunters or target shooters may not care to use AR-15-platform rifles. That’s OK; we all have our preferences for certain firearms and the right to own the guns we choose. What’s damaging to all gun owners, however, is when sportsmen label ARs as “evil” or “bad” guns because they look different from traditional rifles. In doing so they assist gun-ban initiatives that could affect the rights of others to own the type of firearm they prefer–AR-platform rifles–which are favored by younger hunters and shooters, precisely the group on which the future of those activities rests. Traditionalists should be aware that legislation that could ban AR-15-type rifles could sweep up traditional-looking semi-automatic rifles and shotguns (and even handguns) in its net.

The campaign’s four-page educational insert on the modern sporting rifle, which tracks how military rifles of a certain era became popular civilian sporting rifles, will hit in sporting magazines ranging from Field & Stream and Outdoor Life to Petersen’s Hunting and Gun Dog, among others. The point is that today’s modern sporting rifle is just another step in the long history of the military-to-civilian sporting rifle evolution.

For this campaign to have a widespread effect on changing attitudes toward AR-15-platform rifles and to clear up misunderstanding about them (for example, their operation is semi-automatic, not full automatic, with only one round fired with each pull of the trigger), the campaign needs advocates who are willing to correct individuals—your friends, reporters, elected officials—who are misinformed about these rifles. A helpful pocket fact card available at www.nssf.org/msr can assist that effort. Consider sending the fact card to your local, state and Congressional representatives.

As NSSF President Steve Sanetti has said, “We ask everyone who values their gun ownership rights to correct misunderstandings about the use and operation of these modern sporting rifles. If we let misinformation go unchecked, we only assist those who would ban ownership of these and other types of semi-automatic firearms, like your duck-hunting shotgun. We can’t let that happen.”