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Broward County, Florida, newspaper pulls all gun ads following front-page 'controversy

A reporter with CBS4-TV is shown here holding a gun ad that sparked controversy in Broward County, Florida. The newspaper has placed "a moratorium on gun advertising.” (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

The Sun Sentinel newspaper in Broward County, Florida, is refusing to run gun advertisements after a front page display sparked a controversy.

What happened?

On Wednesday, the paper ran a photo relating to Parkland, Florida, mass killing victim Alyssa Alhadeff. The photo showed family and friends unveiling her headstone at Star of David Memorial Gardens Cemetery in North Lauderdale, CBS4-TV reported.

Directly under the story and across the bottom of the paper was an ad for a gun show.

The “bold yellow, black and red print was an ad for the Fort Lauderdale Gun Show complete with the picture of a handgun,” the TV station reported.

What was the reaction?

Parents of victims of the February mass killing called the ad inappropriate.

“I opened it up and I was horrified,” Fred Guttenberg, told the CBS4.

Guttenberg’s daughter, Jamie Gutttenberg, was also killed. He took to social media to express how he felt about the ad.

“Looks like the Sun Sentinel editor on this page failed,” Guttenberg wrote. “A story on the victims of gun violence and they put a gun coupon on the page.”

“My daughter was killed by a weapon and so when we talk about victims and the emotions, it’s beyond jarring,” Guttenberg told CBS4.

Others also took issue with the ad, describing it as “grossly offensive,” and “inexcusable and unacceptable,” according to the report.

How did the paper respond?

Publisher Nancy Meyer apologized through a written statement that read, in part: “We deeply regret placement of a gun advertisement on our front page Wednesday. It is against our policy to run gun and other types of controversial advertising on our front page. We are taking steps to ensure this does not happen again, and the Sun Sentinel now has a moratorium on gun advertising.”

Guttenberg said he was pleased with the paper’s action.

“I want to make sure it is more than temporary, make sure it is a permanent stop," he told the TV station. “But yeah, I’m satisfied.”

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student activist Cameron Kasky also approved.

“I’m very glad the Sun Sentinel has decided not to run gun ads after what happened on the front page today,” Kasky said. “Their decision to right the ship for the days to come is very morally just and I hope they stick by it.”

One last thing…
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