Alan Korwin Wins Appeal Against Phoenix in Censoring of Pro-Gun Ads at Bus Stops

Categories: Guns

guns-save-lives.jpg

Firearms activist Alan Korwin has won his appeal against the city of Phoenix's ban on his pro-gun ads at bus shelters.

The Arizona Court of Appeals ruled today that a lower court, which previously had sided with the city, must reverse course and stop the city from rejecting Korwin's ad.

But it's a win based on a technicality of sorts, and stops well short of forcing the city to accept every ad submitted by the public.

See also:
-Alan Korwin Fight With Phoenix in Appeals Court Over Censoring of Pro-Gun Ads

The ad (as you can see above) features the text "Guns Save Lives" within a large, red heart and hundreds of words in small print about Arizona gun laws, and promotes Korwin's for-profit website, trainmeaz.com.

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Alan Korwin
Korwin had purchased the bus-shelter space for his ad back in 2010, but the city took them down after a complaint. Although the city claimed the ad violated its policy that demanded ads provide "adequate notice" of a commercial transaction, Korwin claimed that a city official had told him that his ad was controversial and therefore received extra scrutiny. The official later claimed she couldn't recall saying that to Korwin.

The Arizona Civil Liberties Union of Arizona filed a brief supporting Korwin in the case, noting that the Arizona Constitution has an arguably more-liberal interpretation of free speech than the First Amendment: "Every person may freely speak, write, and publish on all subjects, being responsible for the abuse of that right."

Yet the unanimous decision by Judge Kenton Jones, Acting Presiding Judge Patricia Norris and Chief Judge Diane Johnsen makes it clear the city has the power to place some restrictions on free speech that occurs on government property, providing its rules are applied consistently. In fact, most of today's ruling disagrees with Korwin's arguments.

The city can deem certain properties, like bus shelters or the ad-panels on the sides of buses as "non-public" forums with restrictions on free speech, the judges ruled. And even though the city's rules must be applied consistently, the city doesn't need to "exercise absolute and inerrant consistency" in its review of the many ads it receives, they wrote.

What it came down was the fact that the city's argument was based on language from its 2009 ad standards, not its 2011 revision of those standards. "The City's contention that Appellant's advertisement fails the 2011 Standards because it is not 'limited to' a commercial transaction is nowhere supported by the language of the 2011 Standards," the judge wrote.

The order sends the case back to trial court, with the caveat that the city is not allowed to reject Korwin's ad based on the 2011 standards. That apparently means Korwin's ads are free to go up at bus shelters, if he still wants them to.

Korwin did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Click here to read the 17-page opinion on the case of Alan Korwin vs. City of Phoenix.


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Follow Valley Fever on Twitter at @ValleyFeverPHX.
Follow Ray Stern on Twitter at @RayStern.



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10 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

Coming soon -- Bloody Fetus anti-Abortion Ads !!


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jonnyquest
jonnyquest topcommenter

"a win based on a technicality". Isn't that what Russell Pearce said when SB1070 got slammed?

ConcernedCitizenAZ
ConcernedCitizenAZ topcommenter

It would be good if human beings were valued more than guns. 

bangbangigotmine
bangbangigotmine

hey! good news! as long as libtards exist, decent people are going to need guns.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@afdhm  

Some notes on the incident in that article.

This is a case of a person being criminally stupid, violating multiple rules that responsible owners live by.  He also doesn't understand the basic operation of his handgun, even to the point of not knowing how to unload it.

The fact that a few idiots will misuse guns every year is no more of an argument to restrict responsible gun owners than is the fact that a few idiots will misuse chain saws and other power tools.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@afdhm  

You generally only read about the bad things that happen, giving people with poor critical thinking skills the impression that a large percentage of gun owners end up badly.

The actual truth is that only a very tiny percentage of guns will ever harm a human being.  Most will only be used for sport.  More than you will ever read about will be used to prevent crimes.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@ConcernedCitizenAZ  

It would be good if the government was more interested in protecting our existing rights than in granting more entitlements.  Making more and more citizens dependent upon the government for their survival undermines democracy.

socalazlefty
socalazlefty

@bangbangigotmine Libtard- What a Neo Con Southern Democrat calls someone he cannot have a factual argument with.

So you think "decent People" as those like JT Ready and Shawana Ford..............................Nice

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@socalazlefty @bangbangigotmine 

Speaking of those with whom one cannot have a factual argument,    who immediately goes to "those like JT Ready and Shawana Ford" when somebody mentions "decent people"?


There are an awful lot of decent, responsible gun owners that you'll never read about in the newspaper, simply because we are decent and responsible.


A critical thinking class would teach you that those you read about in the news are NOT representative of the population.


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