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September 3, 1997

Regulating Firearm Advertisements

Author Affiliations

National Rifle Association of America Fairfax, Va

JAMA. 1997;278(9):702. doi:10.1001/jama.1997.03550090026019

To the Editor.  —Britain's new handgun ban, accompanied by curtailment of magazines about guns and knives, and the call by Johns Hopkins researchers1 for curbs on the contents of advertisements, the accuracy of which can readily be defended, should remind Americans of the indivisibility of fundamental freedoms. The advertisements in question seek to persuade women in the market for a handgun for protection that they should choose 1 brand or model over others, based on size, quality, and cost. Only 1 of the 8 advertisements even appeared in a nongun publication, although the others might if US magazines had greater concern with providing the marketplace of ideas Justice Holmes thought the First Amendment envisioned.The idea the advertisements are suggesting is that handguns may add to the security of middle-class women aged 21 to 45 years, whom the survey by Kleck and Gertz2 indicated use handguns for protection well more

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