Time and again, we’ve stood witness to innocent lives stolen at the hands of madmen armed with military-grade assault weapons like the AR-15. Time and again, NRA-backed politicians have failed to act on getting these weapons of war out of civilian hands.
That’s why we created Ban Assault Weapons NOW (BAWN) back in 2018: as a Florida based citizen-led organization with the goal of placing a constitutional amendment banning assault weapons before Florida voters. When the Florida Supreme Court rejected our ballot initiative, it became clear that the NRA had obtained outsized influence on our state’s leaders. We knew we had to do something to replace these lawmakers with gun violence prevention champions who will put the interests of the American people over the gun lobby.
BAWN is committed to replacing NRA-backed lawmakers with those who understand the need for gun safety reform as well as pushing state legislators to address this issue when they meet in Congress.
How do we do it? There are two components to our efforts: electoral and legislative. BAWN finances candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate who pledge to sponsor bills banning the sale and transfer of assault weapons. Through contributions, we provide a vehicle to help win some of the most competitive races in the country and bring real, meaningful change that will save lives.
We make sure Congress prioritizes our issue by building a strong coalition of supporters behind the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB) bill. In 2022, BAWN played a major role in securing the required votes in the House of Representatives for the Assault Weapons Ban, which successfully passed. The following year, we sat outside Congress for 7 days and nights to demand the Senate follow suit.
In December of 2023, BAWN helped persuade Senate leadership to introduce the AWB bill on the floor for a Unanimous Consent vote. The Democratic-led Senate showed the country they are doing everything they can to prioritize gun safety legislation that will save lives, while Republican Senators continued to show they are the guns over people party by opposing the bill.
We can now say with certainty the appetite and urgency among lawmakers to ban these weapons of war is increasing, thanks in part to BAWN's efforts.