June 12, 2019
By Eric R. Poole
Can’t find Guns & Ammo or other firearm publications at the newsstands? You’re not alone. Our offices have been flooded by letters and emails from readers who have alerted us to the removal of firearm magazines:
“Here in Kentucky they have pulled most firearm magazines from their shelves. I wrote an email to Kroger, but never heard back. Fortunately, I subscribe,” Timothy Miller of Georgetown wrote.
“Kroger foods affecting the Dillon stores in Wichita, Kansas, removed all gun magazines that contained MSR articles,” said Elwood Marshall.
Most notably, Kroger Company, an operator of stores in 35 states under its own name and brands including Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Harris Teeter, King Soopers, Ralphs and Smith’s announced that it will no longer carry magazines featuring so-called “assault weapons.” Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Firearms News, Rifle Shooter and G&A special interest publications such as Book of the AR-15 are among those affected. Gun publications from other publishing groups have also been exiled.
This exclusion is the result of pressure from gun prohibitionists and new advocacy groups using their influence to affect our daily lives. The assault on our rights is not going to stop, and as it continues, it greatly impacts our ability to access reliable information to make informed decisions. Publications like ours help link enthusiasts to the news and stories happening throughout the firearms community.
Selling political positions is not in Kroger’s core competency, but they’re doing it anyway by denying its customers the ability to conveniently purchase periodicals. My wife, not the outspoken type, noticed the missing issues during her ritual to front the magazines. She quit shopping at Kroger before I had the chance to discuss this with her. We are no longer Kroger customers.
At airport convenience stores, managers who have contracts to put out issues of Guns & Ammo have covered up all but the magazine’s nameplate, the same treatment given to pornographic publications.
In the February issue, Jay M. confirmed this in an email. “The airport gift shops in the Miami International Airport are covering up all of the Guns & Ammo magazine’s covers except the nameplate.”
This censorship is not permitted. You can report businesses who are preventing access to G&A by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, include a photo.
Should you address the store manager, please remind that person that nothing printed in these pages is illegal or inappropriate for readers of all ages to enjoy. If you’re not so bold and prefer to avoid conflict, I can appreciate the awkwardness and courage required to challenge a business. But we need your help. Stand up for your right to access, purchase and read gun magazines.
Letters continue to arrive and we read them all. I note which businesses do not want our business. Our collective spending decisions have already impacted stores such as Dick’s Sporting Goods, who feels the financial stress after removing the sale of modern sporting rifles.
Don’t believe that your access to firearm reviews and entertainment will always be available through the internet and social media. Consider that the business operators of your favorite search engines write the algorithms that produce the search results. This means they have unregulated control over what you can and cannot find on the world-wide web. For instance, Facebook makes it difficult to find gun media and businesses; YouTube has rewritten advertising and compensation rules to make it less lucrative for hosts to develop an income, and anti-gunners target pro-gun users of these outlets to publicly shame, and in some cases, attempt to criminalize the person in a photo or video who’s using a firearm or hunting. Engineers at these firms have the ability to write the code needed to suspend, delete and block our communications.
Anti-gunners will attempt to divide us, pitting hunters against black-rifle owners, collectors against shooters, and vice versa. Our way of life is being demonized as anti-gun advocates turn to the states to pursue the passage of the most restrictive gun laws that failed at the federal level.
If you can’t find Guns & Ammo locally, please subscribe or visit osgnewsstand.com. Digital subscriptions are also available. And please, contact the store managers, write and call your local, state and federal representatives. Your vote counts, but so does your voice.
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