BELLEVUE, WA – Calling the ban on semiautomatic firearms “a bad, and totally unnecessary, lapsed federal law,” former Congressman Bob Barr is urging Attorney General Eric Holder to back away from a plan to renew that onerous idea, and the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is joining in the effort.

“While we opposed Holder’s nomination as Attorney General and Barr supported him,” said CCRKBA Chairman Alan Gottlieb, “we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Barr in opposing the ridiculous notion that the ban be resurrected and made permanent.

“The ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ by Bill Clinton and the Democrats was a bad idea in 1994,” he recalled, “and it is an even worse idea today. We needn’t remind House Speaker Nancy Pelosi about the mid-term election consequences of the 1994 ban.”

Barr was among dozens of pro-gun challengers swept into Congress by angry gun owners in November 1994. He served from 1995 until 2003. The former Congressman sent a letter to Holder on March 3 in which he explained that pushing for a renewal of the ban “would be inconsistent in my view with the clear mandate you enjoy to restore integrity and confidence in the government of which you are an important part.” He encouraged Holder to instead devote his energies to “restoring the civil liberties of American citizens” that have been eroded over the past several years.

“Many law-abiding gun owners voted for Barack Obama,” Gottlieb added, “taking his word that, as president, he would not come after their guns. Renewing the senseless ban on sport-utility firearms and original capacity magazines would betray the trust of those voters, and Holder should understand that.

“We’re delighted that Bob Barr, who supported Holder’s nomination, has added his considerable influence to this debate,” Gottlieb stated. “With Barr squarely in the corner of American gun owners – millions of whom own the kinds of firearms that would be affected by such a ban – hopefully we will prevail and the Obama administration will find more useful endeavors.”