An Augusta firearms retailer says a prominent cable television provider has refused to air an advertisement because the spot infringes a new policy barring the depiction of guns.
Ray Reynolds, the proprietor of United Loan and Firearm in Augusta and a federally licensed gun merchant, said he was notified last week by Comcast Spotlight officials that his shop’s latest ad, a parody of the History Channel’s hit reality program Pawn Stars, was not in compliance with the company’s new ban.
“The federal government is issuing us a license and says it’s OK for us to sell guns,” he told the local news daily, the Augusta Chronicle. “That’s out-and-out censorship for Comcast to decide. That’s them pushing their political agenda.”
Comcast, the nation’s largest cable provider, was purchased by NBCUniversal last month, at which time it assumed the parent company’s advertising practices. A spokesman said the company would not accept any new advertising for firearms or other weapons.
“Consistent with long standing NBC policies, Comcast Spotlight has decided it will not accept new advertising for firearms or weapons moving forward,” Comcast spokesman Chris Ellis said. “This policy aligns us with the guidelines in place at many media organizations.”
Reached by phone Tuesday, Reynolds said the offending ad only briefly portrayed firearms and stressed that assault weapons were not depicted.
To comply with the policy, he said, not only must the shop produce an amended version of the ad wherein all depictions are firearms are removed but must also modify it’s name.
“What really got me was when they said that we had enough name recognition that we could get by with just saying United Loan,” he told the paper. “They were going to actually make us eliminate ‘Firearms’ from our name.”
Reynolds told Tipsheet an online version of the banned advertisement was not readily available, but hoped to make it public soon.
CBS News released on Tuesday the results of a new national survey that found a plurality of Americans believe existing gun control laws should be loosened or remain untouched.
- James Richardson