NASCAR Declines Ads From Multiple Firearms Companies
NASCAR "rejected advertisements for its souvenir programs from multiple firearms companies earlier this summer as part of what is being seen as a 'gradual shift' in its position on guns," according to Sara Murray of CNN.com. NASCAR'S apparent shift "stunned gun enthusiasts who said there is a large overlap between NASCAR fans and gun owners, and left some in the firearms industry questioning why NASCAR's viewpoint has shifted and where the racing organization now stands on Second Amendment issues." After a third-party advertising vendor "solicited ads for an official NASCAR program earlier this year, the vendor followed up with gun companies in August to inform them NASCAR had rejected advertisements that depicted 'assault-style rifles/sniper rifles.'" So far, NASCAR has "appeared unwilling to explain its shifting viewpoint on the gun industry." It still partners with companies like Gander Outdoors and Bass Pro Shops, which sell guns, as well as Henry Repeating Arms, a gun manufacturer. National Shooting Sports Foundation Senior VP/Government & Public Affairs Lawrence Keane said the trade group has begun a "respectful and productive" dialogue with NASCAR to figure out what is going on. Meanwhile, the NRA's lobbying arm "made its displeasure apparent in an online post" (CNN.com, 9/13).
TAKING A DIFFERENT STANCE? Firearm distributor K-Var said that it joined CZ-USA, Beretta, Daniel Defense and 13 other gun retailers and manufacturers in "agreeing to advertise in the official programs of the last 26 races of the NASCAR season." The company added that in August, a message from NASCAR to National Event Publications (NEP) notified them it "would limit the types of firearms that could be shown in the ads." In Charlotte, Joe Marusak noted NEP then "notified the gun manufacturers and retailers that had agreed to buy ads." K-Var said, "AK-47s, AR-15s, and scoped rifles have all been featured in the past, so I guess, by that statement, it can only mean that NASCAR is marching toward a complete anti-gun stance" (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/15).