Previous Post
Next Post

TMA Bus 1

Press release from

PHOENIX–A controversial gun-safety ad campaign is about to return to Phoenix, after the city lost its attempt to censor the project sponsored by a gun-safety training group, TrainMeAZ, LLC.  The Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, which represented TrainMeAZ, LLC, was granted summary judgment for its client Thursday by the Arizona Court of Appeals, preventing Phoenix from blocking the ads. Phoenix had forced them down a mere nine days after they were posted under contract more than three years ago . . .

The ads feature a large red heart with the words “Guns Save Lives” and the line “Educate Your Kids,” with contact information:

Officials at the time told Alan Korwin, owner of TrainMeAZ, that the message was too controversial and had garnered a complaint, and so had to be removed or changed. In court, the case revolved around the city’s changing standards and the ad’s accompanying small text, designed to motivate bus riders to go to the website and sign up for real firearms-safety training.

Details of the case, including a timeline of events leading up to the censorship, all the court papers, the text of the ad, and photos of the ads on city streets, are available at the website newsroom button.

“Gun-rights advocates nationwide are fond of saying the Second Amendment protects the First Amendment, which is totally true,” Korwin said. “In this case, however, it’s the other way around — free speech and the First Amendment have protected our right to keep and bear arms, and in particular, our right to train our selves and our precious families in real gun safety.”

A detailed plain-English analysis of the case will be released soon.

Read the narrow, unanimous, 17-page decision here:


Associated Press (AZ) coverage: Arizona court overturns ruling on bus-stop gun ads


Statement of Clint Bolick (Goldwater’s lead attorney) on Korwin v. Phoenix ruling:

We are enormously gratified that the Arizona Court of Appeals protected the First Amendment rights of all Arizonans by striking down the City of Phoenix’s arbitrary decision to forbid “Guns Save Lives” advertisements at City bus stops.

The City’s rules require ads to “adequately display” a commercial advertisement.  The rules are enforced in haphazard fashion, so that people cannot know which ads will be allowed or censored.  The Court ruled unanimously that the City failed to follow its own rules, given that the ads were designed to encourage viewers to visit a commercial website for firearms training.

It is a shame that the City of Phoenix constantly invites litigation by refusing to adhere to the state and federal constitutions.


We applaud the courage exhibited by our client, Alan Korwin, in standing up for his rights and the rights of fellow Arizonans.  We are grateful to the Arizona chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which submitted a brief arguing that the City’s policy and actions were unconstitutional.

Previous Post
Next Post


  1. Sucks that AZ tax payers will have to foot the bill for the plaintiffs legal costs. Way to fight and win Korwin.

        • It would be nice if it could come directly from the pockets of the bureaucrats. Alas, that’s not bloody likely. The voters keep electing jackwagons so they can pay for these mistakes in taxes. Perhaps they’ll get tired of the shenanigans and stop voting these jokers into office. 😉

          City of Phoenix, don’t want to pay these judgements in tax money? Then change the way your city government does business. Unless, the argument is that government shouldn’t be accountable. Then, of course, blanket immunity is what’s on the menu. Watch how responsible government is with rights and the public’s purse then!

        • Those tax payers elected the idiots who cost them the bucks. Actions have consequences. Any monetary judgement should be stayed until after the next election. If the officials get booted, it comes out of their pocket, but if they get reelected,it comes from the taxpayers who made the biggest mistake of all.

        • Damn, Jeremy, I *LIKE* that! Only problem might be if nobody else runs, but then I guess it still fits!

        • While the people who’d ultimately foot the bill did indeed vote for the political misfits who did a stupid thing, in all fairness I doubt any Phoenix-area politician ran or won on an “I’ll ban gun-related adverts” platform.

    • I just read an article that Phoenix’s budget is so bad that they cut the salaries of their police officers. The PHX police department hasn’t added a new officer to their force in five years because of a lack of money. Crime is going up in PHX unlike its neighboring cities. Yet, PHX has money to do this kind of crap. In a state where guns are an essential part of its culture, PHX had to know it would lose. They have to know their views are contrary to that of the citizenry.

  2. Alan is a wonderful gent, committed to our rights and cause. Glad to see the Courts did the right thing!

  3. Congrats on the win! If anti’s say there about gun safety, they shouldn’t have a problem with this ad.

    • “If anti’s say there about gun safety …”

      Hah! Their idea of “gun safety” is trying to take away everyone’s firearms. The gun grabbers only use the term “gun safety” in an effort to appeal to naïve fence sitters.

      If both sides poured all of their billions of dollars into actual gun safety and/or real measures to minimize gang/drug violence, we would actually accomplish admirable results that both sides would embrace.

  4. I may have missed it, but did the city offer to pay anything? Again, I might be wrong but the city stopped a private advertisement campaign nine days into it, three years ago. It seems to me that the city ought to compensate the company for that frivolous bullshit. I hope Phoenix gets successfully sued for any projected loss of revenue and advertising costs. Perhaps the city can make amends by offering some prime city ad space for free.

    • hahahaha, yeah maybe we should throw a bunch of gunsense passion parties.

  5. Phoenix is like most governmental jurisdictions (villages, towns, cities, etc.) who are supposed to understand the law, better than most others, but understand it even less. Government schools are probably the reason. I am so glad the TrainMeAZ, LLC won this lawsuit and hope somehow in the judgment that damages or conditions were placed on Phoenix which requires the city to pay in kind or monetary damages.

    • +1

      And those complaining that the taxpayers foot the bill… that’s what government by the People is all about. When they tire of paying for those leaders’ mistakes, they’ll hopefully vote with that in mind. Perhaps when the next mistake is made by the City, and it will happen, the good people of the city will come out en masse and demand that it cease.

      • I agree. I hate to see the peeps of Phoenix foot the bill, BUT they elected the “officials” that attempted this usurping of rights and therefore gave license to them for setting policy. If one of my employees gets mad at a customer and causes damage to the customer’s person or property, I get sued. I am held responsible for the conduct of those I choose to represent me and my company. Same goes for Phoenix.

    • They understand the law, alright; they’ve simply grown accustomed to not having to obey it.

  6. I can’t believe Phoenix is this stupid. They were offended by that? I see ads all over the place in Cook County,Illinois & Chicago advertising training & concealed carry. Not a peep except for the Slidefire brouhaha LOL. I guess big signs get Chicagoans panties in a bunch.

    • According to the writeup, they got a complaint. Probably from MDA’s local chapter. And then she went home, satisfied that she smited them.

      • A public information request should out the complainant. He (or she) can face public ridicule and ire. Perhaps local business owners will refuse to serve him (or her).

        Then again, since the complainant is such a responsible sort, he (or she) can volunteer to pay any damages.

  7. I live in phx! and say stick it to them should force some hurting in political socialist dreams

  8. “Officials at the time told Alan Korwin, owner of TrainMeAZ, that the message was too controversial and had garnered a complaint, and so had to be removed or changed.”

    That is so much nicer than saying “We hate guns and you gunowners are all poopyheads! So there!”


  9. There is a glimmer of hope for all of us when the ACLU joined the Goldwater Institute in this lawsuit.

    • You sure? I didn’t see that. I thought the ACLU was all gungrabbers, I stopped contributing to them decades ago.

  10. I’m moving out of the great state, Arizona (Tucson) and moving to LV Nevada, hope it’s not a mistake? Moving right into the libs mouth (Reid)

Comments are closed.