Law Shield was appalled, but not surprised, to read about trouble the National Shooting Sports Foundation encountered when the organization tried to run “Project ChildSafe” ads at Reagan National Airport, which serves Washington. D.C., promoting safe firearms storage.
Since 2003, Project ChildSafe has partnered with law enforcement agencies in all 50 states to distribute more than 36 million safety kits, including cable-style locks. The program is funded solely by the firearms industry and charitable donations from the public.
Larry Keane, senior vice president and general counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation, wrote in a blog post, “So in another way to reach out and inform the public, this year and next, travelers through some of our nation’s airports either have or will be seeing electronic and fixed advertising to promote the Project ChildSafe ‘Own It? Respect it. Secure it.’ message. That is, travelers through all airports except for Reagan National Airport serving Washington. D.C. will be seeing these public service ads.”
Keane explained that five other airports have accepted or already run the ads – Hartford-Springfield, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Providence, and St. Louis. But not Reagan National, which declined the ads.
Reagan National is administered by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, whose board is composed of political appointees.
Keane wrote, “Calls to the Authority to even find the right person to talk with were unreturned. Remember, we only set out to buy some airport ads — the same ones five other airports accepted. Are we encountering a lack of transparency or accountability? We have a lot of collective experience with government agencies and it sure looks that way to us.”
Keane wrote, “So why can’t we run some public service ads for a few days at Reagan Washington National Airport? Why does politics come before safety? That’s only partially a rhetorical question. Not that we really expect an answer.”