Lake Co. gun shop owner upset Comcast no longer allowing gun ads

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LAKE COUNTY, Fla. —

Lake County is taking on the nation's largest cable TV provider over its new advertising policy, which ends the sale of ads to businesses that promote gun sales.

Comcast is based in Philadelphia, which is where the decision was made, but local gun shop owners aren't happy with the change.

By most accounts, the gun business continues to prosper, but owners of a shop in Mount Dora said they still want to advertise.

"I've advertised over 20 years with Comcast," said Carey Baker of Peterson's Gun Shop.

But that has all ended. Baker's gun shop and all others have been cut off by a company that essentially has a cable monopoly in most of Lake County.

"My business has no other choice. I can't advertise on any other cable company," said Baker.

Comcast stopped accepting any gun-related ads after the massacre at Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School, but the Lake County Commission calls it discrimination.

"I mean, would we support a restaurant that wouldn't let someone who owns a gun or gun shop ... eat there? Where's it going to stop?" said Jimmy Conner of the commission.

To fight the rule, the commission passed a resolution calling on the Florida Legislature to pressure the cable company to reverse course.

The one dissenting vote came from Welton Cadwell, who believes the board should let people run their own businesses.

The state legislature awards the franchises to the cable companies, and Baker, a former state senator, hopes there's some leverage there.