NASCAR Rejects Ads From Various Gun Retailers, Citing a ‘Gradual Shift in Position on Guns’
SportsColin Fredericson

NASCAR has rejected gun advertisements this week citing the racing company’s “gradual shift on guns,” several gun companies recently said.

Online retailer K-Var Corp. said in an Aug. 21 statement on its website that an advertisement featuring two guns, an AK-47 and a 9mm handgun, were rejected by NASCAR, after a NASCAR advertising agency reached out to the gun company, as well as 16 other manufacturers or retailers, to buy space in the racing company’s official program.

K-Var said it submitted the ads by the deadline but four months later received a message from ad agency National Event Publications, saying NASCAR had rejected the gun retailer’s ads, citing the racing company’s “gradual shift in … position on guns.”

“We just heard from NASCAR on a number of gun related ads and unfortunately, due a gradual shift in NASCAR’s position on guns, these ads must be edited/changed—especially those that are depicted as assault-style rifles/sniper rifles. NASCAR is still open to some of the less controversial gun accessories, concealed carry, or classes,” National Event Publications, which is also the media sales agent for the NFL, NBA, and USA Today Lifestyle, told K-Var Corp in an email obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

National Event Publications then asked the gun retailer to supply a new ad to meet NASCAR’s new guidelines. It’s unclear if the company already has or plans to submit a new ad.

The gun supplier meanwhile, accused NASCAR of “marching toward a complete anti-gun stance,” adding that AK-47’s, AR-15s, and scoped rifles had been featured in NASCAR’s official programs in the past.

National Event Publications was selling ads in program books for the last 26 NASCAR races of the season. K-Var Corp., one of the largest online suppliers of various firearms in the United States since 1993 according to its website, said at least 16 other gun manufacturers or sellers were set to advertise.

It’s unclear how many of the 16 gun companies have had their ads rejected, but Dark Storm Industries wrote in an Instagram post that it was one of them.

“NASCAR decided to turn their back on their customer base, joining the likes of Yeti, Dick’s and Under Armour. We were approached by a NASCAR publication eager to earn our business, but after submitting our ad it was immediately rejected, stating that we cannot depict “assault weapons”… whatever those are.

The New York-based gun retailer said it had submitted a total of three ads, but all were rejected.

“As we have learned, NASCAR has made a “gradual shift” but this doesn’t seem very gradual to us. It seems as though NASCAR has turned their back on the overwhelming majority of their fan base in the most embarrassing way possible,” the Instagram post read.

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NASCAR decided to turn their back on their customer base, joining the likes of Yeti, Dick’s and Under Armour. We were approached by a NASCAR publication eager to earn our business, but after submitting our ad it was immediately rejected, stating that we cannot depict “assault weapons”… whatever those are. We resubmitted the ad after adding a large ‘CENSORED’ bar over the rifle, with a tag reading “This publication rejected our ad”. This too was rejected by NASCAR. They said they did not like that we called them out. We resubmitted a third time, with a tag line reading “Visit www.Dark-Storm.com to find out why!”. This was again rejected. They did not like the words “FIND OUT WHY”. As we have learned, NASCAR has made a “gradual shift” but this doesn’t seem very gradual to us. It seems as though NASCAR has turned their back on the overwhelming majority of their fan base in the most embarrassing way possible. #nascar

A post shared by Dark Storm Industries (@darkstormindustries) on

Dark Storm said that NASCAR is taking a similar stance to guns as stores like Dick’s Sporting Goods, Yeti, and Under Armour.

Dick’s is considering not selling firearms at any of its stores anymore. The company has already removed guns from over a hundred of its stores, The Washington Examiner reported.

Gun news website Bearing Arms advised pro-gun NASCAR fans against a boycott, adding that the racing company has been supportive of gun organizations in the past, and that fans should not jump to conclusions about the new stance too quickly.

“For what it’s worth, I personally recommend cutting them a little slack. It sounds like they’re simply wanting to take the depictions of rifles out of the ads in their programs, and they may have some kind of reason for that which doesn’t involve becoming anti-gun. In our boycott-heavy culture, they may well be trying to head off potential complications,” wrote Bearing Arms.