This was my response submitted earlier today to a post on rec.guns stating that the ban would be renewed simply because Pres. Bush claims to support renewal:
Congress is already in recess until September 7. The ban sunsets September 13. If you want to, you can believe that both the House and Senate will each hold committee meetings on renewal legislation; then hold debate (including motions to amend); then vote; then send the differing versions of the bills to House-Senate Conference Committee, who must reconcile the bills in conference; then, if the bills can be reconciled, each debate and hold votes on the Conference Report; and then -- assuming passage in both chambers -- send the final bill to President Bush, who will then find no objections and sign the bill -- all within six days.
Now, is it technically possible for all of this to happen before September 13? Sure. But just remember that it took well over a decade to pass the ban in the first place; that it took severe cajoling and horse-trading by Bill Clinton to buy votes (e.g., changing NY GOP Representative Pete King's vote in favor of the bill by allowing the IRA's Gerry Adams entry to the White House); that the VPC is already spinning the ban as useless and the sunset as meaningless (because a stronger ban is necessary); that passage of the ban was widely acknowledged (by Bill Clinton and others) as having cost the Democrats several Congressional seats; that Al Gore's defeat was due in part to his support for gun control and that the DNC has identified gun control as a losing issue (which they need to dress-up as "gun safety"); that the haughty, French-looking John Kerry (who, by the way, also served in Vietnam), hasn't really mentioned the AWB and hasn't tried to hold it against Dubya for not pressing for the renewal of the ban; that Majority Leader Tom DeLay isn't letting a renewal bill reach the floor of the House, and that many members of the House don't want to have to vote on a renewal bill two months before they're up for reelection.
I also forgot to add that the House was under different leadership, and the ban vote sent entrenched politicos like Speaker Tom Foley and Jack Brooks packing. I could probably come up with a dozen more good reasons why the ban is unilikely to be renewed if I thought about it for a few more minutes.