City officials take down controversial "Guns Save Lives" ads - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Phoenix city officials take down controversial "Guns Save Lives" ads

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PHOENIX -

A valley business owner will head to court Tuesday and it all involves a controversial advertisement that states, "Guns Save Lives."  It's a case that's being watched very closely around the country.

Those advertisements went up around the city of Phoenix back in October of 2010. But after only nine days, the city of Phoenix took them down.  And the owner of that business says this is all about censorship.

The big bus stop ads reading "Guns Save Lives" certainly caught people's attention and the man who helped create them says that was exactly the point.

"It attracted attention, it drives traffic to the web site, where people can hire the services. That's the whole goal. And that's what we wanted to do, and we signed the contract and the city tore it down," said Alan Korwin, who has written several books on gun safety and helped create TrainMeAZ.com after it became legal for people in Arizona to carry concealed weapons without a permit.

But he says the city thought the signs were more of a public service announcement and wanted them taken down.

"While we were in negotiations - late at night - the signs all came down. And we were surprised. We thought we were negotiating some sort of agreement. And they just took them down and that was that," said Korwin.

The city won the first round in court and the signs were changed to read "Guns Stop Crime."

It's now going to an appeals court.  There was no comment on this case from City Hall on Monday.

Korwin says his goal is to get the original signs back up.

"It seems to me we should be able to speak freely. As long as we're not being fraudulent or advocating something criminal - we should be able to say what we want. The city should not sit in judgment of our words," he said.

On Tuesday,  this case goes before an appeals court. Each side will have 20 minutes to present their arguments to a three judge panel who will decide whether or not to uphold the lower courts verdict.

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