Gun TV: 24-hour, All-gun Home Shopping Network Launches Next Year
OutdoorHub Reporters 12.03.15
A company in California recently announced that it will be launching a national 24-hour home shopping network focused on guns next January.
The channel is entering a market already dominated by established giants such as QVC and the Home Shopping Network, but what Gun TV offers is significantly different from its competitors. As its name would suggest, Gun TV will not focus on late-night jewelry deals or home appliances. Instead, the new network is set to focus exclusively on guns, gun-related accessories, and outdoor gear.
It is believed to be the first home shopping network to target that specific niche.
“We saw an opportunity in filling a need, not creating one,” Valerie Castle, one of the co-founders of the channel, told the Guardian. “The vast majority of people who own and use guns in this country, whether it’s home protection, recreation or hunting, are responsible.”
Castle and her husband, Doug Bornstein, came from long careers in the home shopping industry and already know the lay of the land when it comes to running a TV studio. However, selling guns is a lot different than selling decorative plates. Gun TV says that actually getting its orders out to customers is a lot more complicated than other home shopping networks. First, a customer places an order by phone or through the internet. That order is relayed to the network, which then places its own order for that firearm from a Louisiana firearms distributor, Sports South. The firearm is then shipped to the federally licensed gun retailer of the customer’s choice, where it can be purchased normally. At that time a background check will also be conducted.
It is the same system to buy guns online, but with one significant difference. In a regular online gun purchase, the payment is sent directly to the seller and the retailer, also known as a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL), may charge a small transfer fee. With Gun TV’s system, the FFL will collect the full payment and later be billed by the network’s distributor, Sports South.
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Posted by Gun TV on Thursday, February 19, 2015
“From a commerce and network point of view, the ease and convenience of purchasing firearms will be as simple as consumer placing a toll free number, and placing their order for an in-store pick-up at a Sports South established and recognized local dealer,” the company stated.
According to Castle, the difference between Gun TV and traditional firearm shopping is that the network not only sells firearms, but it also educates its viewers as to which firearms are most suited to them. Gun TV states that it will have stunning sets, dynamic hosts, and a number of education segments as well.
“It’s just like having a personal shopper when you go to Nordstrom,” Castle said. “They are trained in what is going to suit you.”
As the company expected, many gun control groups have reacted negatively to Gun TV and worried that the network would promote “rash” gun purchases.
“Buying a gun is a serious decision. If you are going to buy a gun for your home, it’s not a decision you should be making at three in the morning because you are watching TV,” Laura Cutilletta, an attorney for the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, told The Desert Sun.
Opponents also said that the channel’s launch was in bad taste, given the number of recent shootings. For her part, Castle says she did not want to get into politics. In addition, she stressed that Gun TV provides more than what a customer could find at a regular gun shop.
“People are super busy, and if they can tune into our content at a time when they are not in the throes of their busy day, and really sit and pay attention to how to safely use the product and store it, as well as get the back story of the product… you are going to get way more information about that product,” she said.
Gun TV was originally slated to launch in time for the holiday season, but was pushed back to January of 2016. The network will only have six hours of daily programming at launch, but expects to expand that to 24 hours a day, seven days a week within its first year. It will air on national satellite and cable television providers.