Advertising Association boss knocks guns for sale promo

Julie Harris -
Julie Harris -

PRESIDENT of the Advertising Association Julie Harris says while it is not illegal to advertise the sale of guns, a full-page ad doing so was "in poor taste."

Newsday contacted the association after concern was expressed on social media over the ad, which appeared in the Guardian newspaper, advertising the sale of guns including high-powered rifles.

"Is it in the public's interest? While it is not illegal, it is in poor taste, especially if you take into consideration the climate of the country."

Harris pointed out that like the tobacco industry, which had to be regulated to stop the advertisement of cigarettes, perhaps there should be regulations on the advertising of guns.

In response, the gun store owner, Towfeek Ali, said he is not against the idea of regulating gun advertising, but would be hesitant to speak on the issue without knowing what that may entail.

Ali said his ad was targeting those with firearm user's licences (FUL).

Ali is no stranger to controversy, having been charged for possession of a firearm while the owner of a gun store. He eventually won the case.

Told about the criticism of the ad, Ali said: "If people are ignorant that is not my fault. They should acquire knowledge. What people should do is educate themselves. The ad is not for everyone. They should learn before shooting off their mouths."

Newsday contacted the head of the police Firearms Bureau, ASP Aaron Beddoe, who declined to comment on whether the ad breaches any law that owners of FUL must abide by.

Beddoe said the Commissioner of Police, Gary Griffith, should speak on the issue, but Griffith declined to comment.

Harris said the ad opened up an avenue for discussions on other ads. Some include ads for necromancy, and for prostitution under the guise of "massage parlours."

"Where do you draw the line?" she asked, adding that legislation might be too much, but there should be some form of regulation in place.

Harris said gun ads should be placed in targeted publications rather than in a national newspaper.


"Advertising Association boss knocks guns for sale promo"

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