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Guns Save Lives: 5 Facts About Controversial Advertising Campaign

Image: Guns Save Lives: 5 Facts About Controversial Advertising Campaign
(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images, file)

By    |   Sunday, 02 Nov 2014 10:40 AM

A "guns save lives" advertising campaign by an Arizona firearms training business generated a spate of media interest after Phoenix said the slogan couldn’t go on its bus shelters.

Here are five facts to explain what happened:

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1. In 2010, TrainMeAZ.com signed a contract with the city of Phoenix to place ads, which would carry the “guns save lives” slogan, on bus shelters. But when city officials saw the ads on 50 shelters, they had them removed because the ads were political and broke a city rule against non-commercial ads on buses or shelters.

2. The owner of TrainMeAZ, Alan Korwin, took the issue to court — and won. It took more than three years, but in May 2014, an appeals court overruled the city. But the panel of judges didn’t rule on the free-speech argument made by Korwin’s attorneys. Instead, the court found Phoenix officials didn’t lawfully apply their own rules for determining which ads were appropriate and said Korwin’s "blended" ad was allowed since it included promotions for his firearms training business along with political speech.

3. Korwin's ads will stay on the bus shelters until November, and he’s increasing newspaper ads and billboards. In addition, he’ll need to see if the city rewrites its language so “guns save lives” could be banned. He told The Arizona Republic: "They didn't want 'Guns Save Lives' in the public eye. You can't ban speech based on content, and that's what they want to do."

4. TrainMeAZ has additional messages on its “guns save lives” advertising campaign. The billboards and bus shelter signs also say things like “This Is Arizona: Marksmanship Matters” and “This is Arizona: Teach Your Children Well.”

5. The phrase “guns save lives” isn’t solely used by TrainMeAZ. It is used on the internet by pro-gun rights activists, and the #gunssavelives hashtag is on numerous posts. In addition, a website run by Dan Cannon is called by the same name, and is a collection of stories and information about gun rights from across the nation. The site claims to reach 3 million people every month through various forms of media.

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A "guns save lives" advertising campaign by an Arizona firearms training business generated a spate of media interest after Phoenix said the slogan couldn't go on its bus shelters.
guns, save, lives, facts, advertising, campaign
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2014-40-02
Sunday, 02 Nov 2014 10:40 AM
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