There’s one thing that’s been holding back gun sales in America for decades: advertising. Specifically, the lack of firearms advertising. Oh sure, you can read about the latest personal defense firearms in gun mags or, now, on the net. But when was the last time you saw an actual gun advertisement in a mainstream publication like USA Today, Sports Illustrated, your local radio station or anywhere on TV? I’m thinking never. This non-governmental advertising ban has ghetto-ized the entire industry, making it virtually impossible for gunmakers to reach out to new customers . . .

Gunmakers have shied away from challenging their pariah status, for fear of triggering The Mother of All Anti-Gun Backlashes. But thanks to the Supreme Court and a gun rights group, the walls are a tumblin’ down, with spectacular sales growth to follow.

Check this from The New York Times:

A recent Supreme Court decision could alter what public transit riders here see in advertisements on city buses and trains and in transit shelters.

Images promoting guns, which are banned under an advertising policy of the San Francisco Metropolitan Transportation Agency, showed up recently on posters for a conference for the Second Amendment Foundation, a gun rights group based in Washington.

The group spent some $10,000 to have the posters, which feature a woman armed with a shotgun, hung at bus stops across the city. The poster’s red type reads, “A violent criminal is breaking through your front door. Can you afford to be unarmed?”

. . .

To [Second Amendment Foundation founder Alan Gottlieb’s] surprise, the posters were installed last week in what his organization called in a press release “something of a coup.”

“We were prepared to go to court and sue if they did not put them up,” Mr. Gottlieb said. “Having a gun is a constitutional right.”

Paul Rose, a spokesman for the city’s transportation agency, said that after the gun group’s posters went up, the city decided to take another look at its policy.

“At this point we’re not taking any action to remove the ads. We are currently reviewing our advertising policy in light of the recent Supreme Court decision, which may have altered the legal landscape regarding firearm advertising.”

This is the first crack in the wall for firearms advertising. And remember: it’s not all about selling product. It’s also about selling the idea of gun ownership. If firearms advertising is allowed, gun rights groups will have an enormous and powerful platform for their pro-gun ownership message, which will radically change the political landscape. You heard it here first: if the gun ad ban crumbles, American firearms sales will go ballistic.

3 Responses to Are Gun Sales About to Explode?

  1. Robert I would argue there's plenty of pro-gun "advertising" out there now. Every time a protagonist in a movie or television show uses a gun for self defense, it's an advertisement for gun ownership. Every time a teenager in a horror movie is slaughtered by a knife wielding psychopath because he/she is unarmed, it's an advertisement for gun ownership. I don't think advertising is neccessarily going to move people into the pro-gun camp, that seems to come generally from an individual's personal experience (got mugged, assaulted, burglarized, riots happened nearby, natural disaster and looting, etc.)

    • Hollywood certainly sends a pro-gun message. But make no mistake: advertising people are even better at . . . advertising. Targeted. Focused. Effective. Inspirational. Advertising.

  2. I can’t wait to see the the slick in-your-face gun marketing ads directed at your All-American drug dealing street gangster market. I’ll bet sales will go through the roof when the ads truly convey the awesome firepower of the latest semi-to-full automatic weapons on the market. It’ll have all the selling power of a million dollar Nike shoe ad. Kidding aside, gun ads deserve a place in advertising as much as any other product, but it’s really a testament to the lower road taken to resort to scaring the customer into buying your product. Use a little more tact. Defense sells itself. You don’t need to resort to scaring the crap out of everyone just to sell a few more weapons… (or do you?)

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