For decades, Americans have had the leisurely option to purchase items from the comfort of their home after seeing them on television. Networks like QVC and the Home Shopping Network often display and discuss products like jewelry, home décor, and even kitchen odds and ends for at home customers to call in and buy.
However, this January, a new sort of home shopping channel with no sense of timing at all will launch in the United States: Gun TV.
Besides the firearms themselves, Gun TV will offer ammunition, clothing, and concealed-carry holsters, presented by gun experts onscreen. The network promises that anyone from ex-Olympic marksmen to former military sharpshooters will provide demonstrations.
All buyers need to do to order a weapon is keep an eye out for a gun that fits their price range, and then call the number on television (or order online, which is another dangerously easy option). The gun or other items will then be shipped from the wholesale retailer to the buyer’s closest federally licensed gun seller. A mandatory background check into the customer’s criminal and mental health records will need to be completed before the customer can take home the firearm.
As one might expect, reactions to the new network vary. Valerie Castle, a co-founder for Gun TV tells the Guardian, “We saw an opportunity in filling a need, not creating one,” adding that “the vast majority” of gun owners are responsible.
Not everyone is quick to agree.
“The thing that’s wrong with this is that it’s a very serious decision when you bring a gun into your home,” Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence in San Francisco responded. “So many people are killed by guns every day in the US; we need to think long and hard about this. My gut reaction is that it’s the last thing we need.”
To supplement obvious concerns, Gun TV plans to air three whole minutes of safety oriented programming per hour, saying that its aim is to “responsibly offer extraordinary access to purchase the most diverse representation of firearms in the world.” For those wondering, considering that an average hour-long TV show has about 14 minutes worth of commercial breaks, that three minute safety video should equate to roughly 6.5 percent of their hourly programming.
Gun TV is scheduled to go live on January 20, 2016 to cable TV providers and via national satellite. The network will at first broadcast from 10 p.m. to 4 a.m. PST, with the plan to expand to daily 12 hour programming. The long term goal is to run 24 hours a day.
“The gun sales environment in America is fertile,” a promotional video on their site states, “and the Gun TV 24-hour direct sales network is poised to capitalize on that opportunity.”