Gun World advertisement on the new digital billboard on East Street, Ipswich.
Gun World advertisement on the new digital billboard on East Street, Ipswich. David Nielsen

Readers row over Christmas billboard promoting gun sales

The gun shop owner behind a controversial billboard says he doesn't know what all the fuss is about.

If nothing else, the festively-themed advertisement for Gun World has succeeded in getting attention.

The ad first whipped up controversy when it appeared on a static billboard at Calamvale several weeks ago. This week it appeared in electronic form on the new digital billboard on East St, Ipswich.

The advertisement features a young woman dressed in a Santa outfit wielding a handgun, with the words: "Santa knows what you really want for Christmas."

The Advertising Standards Bureau confirmed an investigation was under way after complaints.

But Gun World owner Andrew Peat said he believed the complaints were both an overreaction and a sign of double standards.

What do you think about this? Here's what you said on Facebook:

Ashley Clarke - "Always good to be enlightened. If a local business pays their money to advertise, should they not be permitted to do so? Or should the advertising companies only allow businesses approved by the majority of locals to advertise? I don't have a gun, I'm certainly not intending to ever buy a gun, but if local businesses want to advertise their wares I can't see why they shouldn't be allowed to do so."

Kevin Robb - "How they're advertising their guns - using Christmas - is what is really offensive."

Lesley Tanner Ferguson - "Junk food ads everywhere and you're worried about something that most of you can't even obtain because you don't have licence - what's killing you and what is one of the biggest problems in Ipswich - maybe focus on the real problems, people!"

Romaine Carpenter - "Inappropriate, at any time. Have we learned nothing from the US?"

Bree Pawlasty - "They have a right as a company to advertise their company. There's nothing illgeal with gun ownership as you need a very good reason to hold a gun liscense. All people who apply for a liscense are required to undergo criminal checks plus a clean record of mental health status. They will not allow a person who lives in surburban place to hold a license. You must have proof of why you should be able to obtain a gun, such as farming and pest control on your property. The advertisement is directed at farmers who live outside of Ipswhich. Your average Joe cannot walk in and buy a firearm."

Melissa Jenkinson - "My 13-year-old daughter commented as we drove by. She laughed and said it was ridiculous. I agree."

Matthew Weinberg - "Why should they not be allowed to advertise? They are legally selling an item to people who legally can own and use a product. Just because you may not like the product they should not be restricted from selling that product."

Patricia Carpenter - "We don't need that sort of advertising here in Ipswich." Ipswich West Jim Madden - "This is very disappointing Pat but unfortunately not illegal."



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