Another newspaper, the Sarasota, Fla., Herald-Tribune, will stop accepting classified ads for firearms. The decision stemmed from the case of Mark Williams, a convicted felon with a restraining order for domestic violence.
Williams, of Bradenton, Fla., could not pass a federal background check to buy a gun. Police say that in April, he used a classified ad to buy a semiautomatic handgun and later the same day shot his estranged wife to death in front of her 9-year-old daughter.
Starting Oct. 1, the Herald-Tribune will no longer accept classified ads for firearms. “I believe strongly that this is the right thing to do,” Publisher Diane McFarlin said. “We certainly don’t want to make it easier for criminals to gain access to weapons.”
The Herald-Tribune says it is the 16th paper in the country and the fifth in Florida to agree to tighter standards for firearms advertising.
The Herald-Tribune’s reader advocate logged one call Tuesday from a subscriber unhappy with the decision. “I think it’s very poor — the decision to remove gun advertising,” Jim Harrison said. “The only thing that I can see that it will accomplish is stopping people who collect guns from interchanging their guns.”