Phoenix business owner appeals after gun ad censored

PHOENIX - The owner of a Phoenix gun business says his First Amendment rights were violated after local bureaucrats removed his company's advertisements, according to a report from the Goldwater Institute.

On Tuesday, an appeals court will take up the case of Alan Korwin whose advertisements for his gun safety resources website allegedly failed to "propose a commercial transaction," according to city officials.

Korwin's advertisements, featuring a red heart with text that read, "Guns Save Lives," were originally displayed in several bus shelters across Phoenix prior to being removed.

According to the attorneys from Goldwater Institute representing Korwin, the city applied standards arbitrarily to the "Guns Save Lives" ad.

"This case will decide whether the right to advertise on public property must be determined by clear, reasonable, and objective standards," said Clint Bolick, vice president for litigation at the Goldwater Institute. "The free-speech protections of the U.S. and Arizona Constitutions do not tolerate suppression of speech by bureaucratic whim."

Korwin's case has national implications because of widespread disputes over the extent to which transit agencies can censor ads as well as whether state constitutions provide greater free speech protection than the First Amendment.

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