Curran Blasts Gun Magazines for Fueling Y2K Hysteria

August 19, 1999

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today his office has sent letters to four nationally published gun magazines, urging them to cease "an irresponsible and dangerous campaign to exploit the Y2K issue." Curran is responding to articles that urge readers to "Arm Yourself for the Y2K Disaster!" by calling for a need to "stock enough ammunition to last for a few weeks of severe social unrest."

Curran notes that the following magazines have attempted to exploit the Y2K issue by playing upon fears about the coming millennium:

Guns and Ammo, February 1999 - Cover Headline: "There's Still Time! ARM YOURSELF for the Y2K Disaster!"

American Guardian, Augest 1999 - Article titled: "Y2 Care About Y2K" In this article, readers are told to "add to their [firearm] capabilities," and to "stock enough ammunition to last for a few weeks of severe social unrest."

Handguns, September 1999 - Cover Headline: "Y2K Survival Guide to Revolvers." In the inside article, the magazine advises "if there is a Y2K problem, you'll need..a gun." The writer also cautions against trading ammunition for food, because "if you have ammunition, you can get food."

Gun World, August 1999 - Article titled: "Survive Y2K: Guns and Gear You Need!"

"This attempt to feed an atmosphere of hysteria and play upon people's fears and worst instincts is outrageous," Curran wrote. "Despite the best efforts of others to minimize computer mishaps in the year 2000, the gun industry has chosen to follow the irresponsible path of encouraging people to react to problems with destruction and violence."

Curran says government agencies, private business and individuals have been prudently preparing for the year 2000 by taking whatever steps possible to ensure the computers upon which they rely are Y2K compliant. These efforts, he says, will go a long way toward minimizing any mishaps due to technological failures, and they constitute a responsible response which helps people prepare for the Y2K without creating an environment of undue fear and hysteria.

For Further Information Contact:
Frank Mann
Special Assistant to the Attorney General
(410) 576-6357