Flagstaff shooting range challenges advertising ban at city’s airport

Oct 27, 2023, 2:00 PM

Stock photo of a shooting range. Goldwater Institute attorneys say Flagstaff's rejection of a shoot...

Goldwater Institute attorneys say Flagstaff's rejection of a shooting range advertisement violate the business owner's freedom of speech rights. (Pixabay Photo)

(Pixabay Photo)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — A Flagstaff shooting range has gained the support of a conservative think tank in its challenge to advertise at the city’s airport.

The Goldwater Institute issued a letter to the city of Flagstaff this week questioning its rejection of advertising from Timberline Firearms and Training, the Arizona Daily Sun reported Thursday.

Rob Wilson, the owner of the shooting range and gun shop, said he has had a 10-second ad playing on TV monitors at Flagstaff Pulliam Airport since 2019. But the city declined to allow it this year. Officials claimed it violated its advertising policy by showing depictions of violence or anti-social behavior.

The ad Wilson submitted shows his business’ logo, four people standing while holding guns and then a clip of an instructor and a student at the indoor firing range. The student fires on a paper target with an assault-style weapon.

Attorneys for Goldwater said the city’s rejection violates Wilson’s freedom of speech rights. They also accused Flagstaff of “abusing its power to push an anti-gun agenda.”

Joe Setyon, a spokesperson for Goldwater, said the group will consider filing a lawsuit if the matter is not resolved.

The Flagstaff City Council has been in discussions to revise the policy on advertisements.

Sarah Langley, a city spokesperson, said an updated version will be the subject of a Nov. 14 city council meeting.

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Flagstaff shooting range challenges advertising ban at city’s airport