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February 17, 1994

MONTANA GUN OWNERS ROAST SEN. BAUCUS FOR GUN CONTROL VOTES

MISSOULA, MT - Gun owners angry with the performance of their U.S. Senator Max Baucus have run over 4,000, 30-second radio spots critical of Baucus. Baucus (D-MT) had always promised voters and constituents that he would never vote for any gun control, including purchase waiting periods and semi-auto bans. In November of 1993, Baucus broke his promises and broke trust with the people of Montana by voting for both the Brady waiting period and the Feinstein semi-auto ban.

Furious with Baucus, Montana gun owners shifted into high gear. During December, the Montana Shooting Sports Association (MSSA) mapped out a plan for fundraising, and to saturate the airways in January with radio ads roasting Baucus for his gun control votes. This effort came to be known as the "Ax-Max" campaign. MSSA produced four, 30-second radio spots that were a scathing criticism of Baucus. A direct mail campaign was launched that reached out to hot lists of activist lists of gun owners, including about one percent of the Montana population. Local gun owners were urged to raise funds locally, use those funds to reserve air time on local radio stations during January, and contact MSSA for the ad tapes and matching funding.

During the month of January, the 30-second MSSA radio spots were played over 4,000 times on radio stations throughout Montana. After this saturation of the airways, Baucus found it difficult to impossible to attend a friendly public meeting in Montana, on any subject. He is reported to have been boo'd out of two different town meetings in central Montana, because of the presence or angry gun owners.

While the density of these radio ads peaked in late January, MSSA continues to run the ads, in conjunction with local gun owners, on various radio stations around Montana. This Montana effort has been so successful at mobilizing public sentiment over Baucus's betrayal of Montana gun owners that the program is being cloned in other states. Colorado is now using the Montana methodology, has recut the Montana radio ads for Colorado, and is now running these ads on Colorado radio stations, criticizing turncoat Colorado senators. The NRA is considering packaging this program to clone it in yet other states.

One fact has become apparent from the way this campaign blossomed - Montana gun owners simply will not tolerate gun control. - 30 -