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Comcast gun-commercial ban hits Indiana gun stores

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A decision by Comcast Corp. to ban commercials touting firearms and ammunition has left some Indiana gun store owners searching for new ways to advertise their products.

Rick Oliver, who owns the Lafayette-area gun store Haley's Lodge, said he's been told the store's TV ads will no longer be accepted. Oliver said he's confused by the ban but plans on shifting his television advertising budget to radio and print since Comcast is the Lafayette-area's only local cable provider.

"I've been running TV ads for 30 years. But if they don't want my money, I'll take it elsewhere," he told the Journal & Courier for a Friday story.

Oliver also said he's stopped running TV ads for his second business, Haley's Lock, Safe & Keys, on principle.

Chris Ellis, a spokesman for Comcast Spotlight — Comcast's advertising sales division — said the decision to ban such commercials was made earlier this year after Comcast finalized its purchase of NBC Universal.

"Consistent with long-standing NBC policies, Comcast Spotlight has decided it will not accept new advertising for firearms or weapons moving forward," he said.

Gun control advocates are pleased with Comcast's decision and hope other influential media businesses will follow suit. Time Warner Cable and Cox Communications already have restrictions on certain types of weapons ads.

"This is a really brave move for Comcast, and I give them a standing ovation," said Julia Chester, Midwest regional coordinator for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. "Advertising has such a huge impact on public opinion, and we're really at a tipping point in the gun violence conversation."

But Greg Hasek, manager at Four Guns in Lafayette, said the ban on gun advertisements is singling out one industry. He noted that there are widespread advertisements for alcohol, which can lead to drunken driving deaths.

"There are so many things that can harm people if they let it," Hasek said. "Buffets are so unhealthy they can lead to death by obesity complications. Are we going to stop advertising buffets?"

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  • Bill if rights does not guarantee right to bear platefuls of fattening food
    Vote with your dollars. Those who choose to live without the liberties guaranteed them by the constitution should feel free to do so but best not attempt to strip that choice away from others.
  • Ban Comcast
    My choice as a law abiding gun owner who took this as an insult, feels this is a slam on all gun owners and that my money for my service is just not good enough for COMCAST. Therefore, as of the end of the month, I am discontinuing my Comcast service so they dont have to deal with my foul $250 month dollars. Please join me!
  • oh no
    Oh no. How will anyone ever find out where to buy guns without TV ads?
  • Nothing to get upset about
    First...Comcast is a private enterprise, free to do what they want, and this is a business decision. If you are upset about it, do what one commenter (Jeff?) here did...cancel the service. The Cable arm of their business is likely the worst company I have ever dealt with in terms of customer service...if you cancel Comcast, you can't do any worse with any other provider. And if you don't have another provider available, just think what you can do with all that time you aren't watching television...get an exercise program, read, learn to play a musical instrument. They call it an "idiot box" for a reason. Because you are sitting there watching reality TV and gun ads.
  • What is there point
    If they are going to take a position like this one. Then they must ban movies and shows which show gun violence that lead to misuse by individuals with mental issues and bad judgement.
  • Good For Comcast
    This means I'll support Comcast in every way I can and buy every product they offer. It is a good strep toward restoring common sense and safety in America. Next NBC should look at their programming and begin to reduce any glamorization of guns.
  • Hypocrites
    Does this mean that the executives at NBC and other networks owned by Comcast are also going to stop broadcasting shows featuring blood and gore caused by gunshots and confine themselves to mayhem by axes, knives, and clubs? Or maybe they'll cut out all violence and just air shows with gratuitous sex. I don't know which is worse - companies that make a show of righteousness by giving up a small revenue stream associated with some product that is out of favor by some while continuing to engage in far more damaging (and, need I say, more profitable) lines of business, or those in the general public who hold up those companies as moral beacons.
  • It's a free country.
    Comcast is free to ban whatever they want. So am I, so I cancelled my Comcast subscription this afternoon.
  • A good ban
    We probably should ban advertising for buffets, but that is a separate issue. Best to evaluate one thing at a time rather than engage in slippery-slope falacies. And since this ban is business-driven rather than government-driven, libertarians and other free market folks (like me) should love it. Just because the free market acts in ways you don't like doesn't make it less legitimate.

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