Gun stores say NASCAR is making a ‘colossal mistake’ for dropping AR-15 adverts from their souvenir programs as part of a ‘gradual shift in position’ on firearms

Saturday, September 14, 2019
By Paul Martin

NASCAR rejected a pair of adverts submitted for its souvenir programs
One for retailer K-Var featured an AK-47, while Dark Storm’s featured an AR-15
K-Var’s general manager called the move a ‘colossal mistake’
Dark Storm said NASCAR is ‘turning its back on their customer base’
Advertising vendor, National Event Publications said there had been ‘a gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns’, and called for ads to be changed
Ads featuring ‘assault-style rifles/sniper rifles’ were a particular issue
Bass Pro Shops and Gander Outdoors, which sell guns, still work with NASCAR

14 September 2019

NASCAR has rejected advertisements from several firearm companies which were pitched for their raceway programs during the summer, in a move branded a ‘colossal mistake’ by firearm companies.

In what an advertising vendor called a ‘gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns’, adverts featuring assault-style rifles like AR-15s and AK-47s were blocked.

It comes amid heightened public concern over assault-style rifles after they were used in a string of mass shootings – but is especially controversial in a sport that is so closely associated with gun culture.

Dark Storm Industries said an ad featuring one of their AR-15s was rejected.

And online retailer K-Var said ads they submitted highlighting an AK-47 and a 9 mm handgun were denied as well, the Washington Free Beacon reported.

Both companies said the NASCAR advertising agency had requested advertisements for their publications.

The advertising vendor, National Event Publications, relayed the news to some gun companies saying, ‘We just heard from NASCAR on a number of gun related ads and unfortunately, due to a gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns, these ads must be edited/changed — especially those that are depicted as assault-style rifles/sniper rifles. NASCAR is still open to some of the less controversial gun accessories, concealed carry, or classes.’

K-Var general manager David Dolbee told CNN: ‘This is a colossal mistake. Do they not understand their own base? They are a sporting organization trying to take sides on a political issue. That never goes well for any company.’

And Dark Storm’s Ed Newman, one of the founders of the New York firearms company, was troubled by NASCAR decision.

He said their position ‘seems like a pretty rapid and dramatic shift to me.’

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