Is Washington, D.C., Metro Suppressing Voice Of Certain Groups?

( – The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, or the D.C. Metro, is one of the busiest rapid transit systems in the entire United States. In fact, only the New York City Subway carries more passengers each year.

Because of this, and because of the makeup of the Washington, D.C., region, the Metro carries a diverse array of passengers with a diverse array of principles, thoughts and opinions. But one group’s opinions apparently don’t fit the bill when it comes to placing an advertisement.

The D.C. Metro recently refused to accept an that promoted the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s commitment “to make communities safer.” The agency was vague for the reasoning behind the ban, according to a Washington Free Beacon report, saying only it violated their guidelines.

Ian Jannetta, a spokesman for the Metro, only said, “we are unable to comment beyond the guidelines with regard to any specific advertisement or submission.”

The agency did say they have across-the-board guidelines that ban any advocacy either against or for any “industry position or goal” that tries to influence patrons “on an issue on which there are varying opinions.”

Officials from the NSSF, meanwhile, believe the Metro’s decision had political motivations.

NSSF Spokesman Larry Keane elaborated: “There’s nothing controversial in the ad. So, it’s just another blatant example of bias against the firearms industry.”

The ad was supposed to promote their website,, which includes their goals to give out gun locks for free, improve on reporting records for gun background checks, prevent suicides and increase security at various gun stores, among other things.

With nothing controversial in the ad, many have wondered why the D.C. Metro would turn down the marketing campaign. This isn’t the first time the agency has been enthralled in a debate around ads that it has banned.

In fact, the D.C. Metro has been sued in the past for rejecting ads — by the ACLU for an ad they wanted to run that featured text of the First Amendment, and one by the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington that had a Christmas picture.

This incident is also not the first time the NSSF has faced rejection in Washington, D.C. In 2014, the group tried to market a safety program that would provide gun locks for free to owners, but that ad was turned down by Reagan National Airport. Their reasoning, according to Keane — the NSSF’s logo didn’t fit the bill; it has a gun with a lock on it.

Keane ultimately said he doesn’t believe the D.C. Metro’s rejection had anything to do with the ad itself, but rather with the group trying to place the ad.

“I don’t think they would take any ad that we would offer. It’s disappointing because it undermines public safety,” he said. “You have a quasi-government agency suppressing First Amendment speech on Second Amendment issues.”