Anti-Gun Group Tells Newspapers To Stop Running Gun Classifieds

By Jim Burns | July 7, 2008 | 8:20 PM EDT

( - An anti-gun group Thursday called on the nation's newspapers to stop accepting classified ads for the sale of all guns.

The group, which calls itself the "National Campaign to Close the Newspaper Gun Ad Loophole," consists of several grassroots anti-gun organizations in several states.

Bryan Miller, executive director of "Ceasefire New Jersey" criticized one of Washington's daily newspapers for accepting classified ads.

"The Washington Post, we are informed, does not accept classified ads for guns. The Washington Times, however, accepts ads for handguns and rifles on a case-by-case basis. Although, happily it (The Washington Times) does not receive many ads," said Miller at a Washington press conference.

"Our nation's capital has recently been victimized first-hand by terrorists. We, above all, wouldn't want a terrorist to answer a classified newspaper ad to obtain a weapon that might be used right here in Washington, D.C.," he said, adding, "that would be unconscionable."

Miller pointed out that the "District of Columbia does not allow the new ownership of handguns." He said "out of respect for the laws of the city in which it is published, we believe the Washington Times should cease its policy of accepting classified ads for guns, including handguns."

"Unfortunately," Miller said, "the Washington Times has long supported and championed the views of the National Rifle Association and its fellows in the gun lobby. But it's time for the Washington Times to do its part in the war on terrorism and change its policy on classified gun ads."

Richard Amberg, general manager of The Washington Times told that the anti-gun group expressed "noble sentiments, but this is still a free country and we comply with all the laws of the land."

"Advertising for guns is still legal to the best of my knowledge and we would not knowingly be a part of anything that contributed to any illegality. I will certainly look at those ads that we do have, but I am doubtful there needs to be a change (in policy)," said Amberg.

"I have not been aware of any ads that would lead us to believe that the wrong types of weapons would get in the wrong types of hands," he added.

The group commended the Chicago Tribune and Philadelphia Inquirer for recently changing their policies to reject classified gun ads.

See Earlier Story:
Anti-Gun Groups Seize on New 'Loophole' (Feb. 21, 2002)

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