The Houston Chronicle is the latest in a string of major newspapers to restrict or eliminate gun advertising, Editor & Publisher magazine reports. The change was made at the request of an Iowa-based non-profit organization that wants to cut down the number of weapons sold by unlicensed dealers. The Hearst Corp.-owned Chronicle says it will stop accepting such classified handgun ads.
“Groups have petitioned newspapers in the past to close what has been termed the ‘newspaper loophole’ that allows a person to purchase handguns through classified ads without federal background checks,” the Chronicle said. “We have adjusted our policy to address this concern.”
The Houston daily is one of several that have altered policies after being contacted by the National Campaign to Close the Newspaper Gun Loophole, which launched in November 2001. The group’s first success was the Chicago Tribune’s agreement to stop taking ads for any firearms in late 2001. The efforts have resulted in tighter gun ad policies at The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Philadelphia Daily News, The Denver Post, the Denver Rocky Mountain News, the Detroit Free Press, The Detroit News, Sandusky (Ohio) Register, and the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.