Time Warner Cable sets new rules for gun ads

MSO bans commercials showing semi-automatic weapons and 'guns pointed at people'
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Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) implemented a new policy that bans ads for semi-automatic weapons and commercials that show guns "pointed at people," drawing fire from a gun store owner that had been running ads on one of its cable systems in North Carolina.

The MSO adopted the new rules for gun ads after the mass shooting in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. "We no longer accept ads showing semi-automatic weapons and guns pointed at people. We stand by this policy. If it's essential to a business owner to show this kind of imagery in their commercials, there are other advertising options in the marketplace," Time Warner Cable said in a prepared statement.

It's not clear if the new advertising policy has been implemented at Time Warner Cable systems nationwide or only at systems in North Carolina. A Time Warner Cable spokesperson didn't respond to a request for comment Friday morning.

The new policy sparked a backlash from Dorothy Royal, the owner of Surf City Guns and Ammo, which previously purchased local advertising avails on Time Warner Cable. It is also drawing media coverage for the nation's second largest MSO.

"It's an issue of my First Amendment rights as well as our Second Amendment, and I think stepping all over our rights is dangerous, and that's not the America we're supposed to be living in," Royal told Wilmington, N.C.-based ABC affiliate WWAY-TV.

Earlier this week, President Obama proposed new gun control rules, including a ban on semi-automatic assault weapons. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, whose members include Time Warner Cable and other major MSOs, said in a statement released Wednesday that it supports Obama's proposals.

For more:
- WWAY-TV has this story

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