TRUMBULL, Conn. – Richard Sprandel owns Blue Line Firearms & Tactical LLC in Trumbull, Connecticut.
He usually gets the word out about his business by promoting the store on the local radio station, 99.1 WPLR. Everything was fine with that — until this week.
A call from his ad space salesman advised him that Connoisseur Media had decided to pull his ads from the air because the station was receiving complaints from listeners.
“I was recently advised from my salesman James, that 99.1 WPLR is no longer willing to run my ads,” Sprandel said.
“James stated that the General Manager of Connoisseur Media, Kristin Okesson, made this decision. When asked why, James stated the station had received 9 complaints regarding my ad.”
So why the halt?
Kristin spoke on the phone with Sprandel and explained that her decision was regarding more than just the nine complaints that had supposedly come in over the ad. Surprised and upset, Sprandel attempted to reason with her and show her that his business was a legitimate operation.
“When I first called Kristin Okesson she stated ‘it wasn’t an easy decision to make’, but it had to be made.”
“I invited her to my store to see the process someone goes through to purchase a firearm in CT. I also invited her to go shooting. She declined both my invitations,” Sprandel said.
It appears that either Kristin doesn’t know much about firearms or she went along with the complaints without fully researching the topic.
“When asked why she decided to stop running my ads she stated she didn’t feel it was appropriate to run an ad advertising the same firearm that was used in the Sandy Hook Shooting. I advised her that she didn’t have her facts correct and that the firearm used in the Sandy Hook Shooting has been banned since 2013.”
For those who don’t know, the Sandy Hook massacre took place just 20 minutes down the road from where Sprandel’s store operates.
The media company’s GM apparently wasn’t willing to have an open discussion to get to the bottom of the topic. From what Sprandel says, the decision was made and Kristin “didn’t want to debate the issue” with him.
Angry, and justifiably so, Sprandel took to social media.
And he quickly gained the support of hundreds, if not thousands, of Second Amendment supporters.
Let’s not forget, Connecticut is referred to as the Constitution State.
Connoisseur Media was immediately inundated with calls and emails, demanding that the Blue Line Firearms ads return to the air.
Finding themselves in a tough spot, 99.1 flipped on their decision, playing it off as a mistake. Kristin apologized to Sprandel, but he maintains that the apology only comes from the intense backlash from the public.
“She is only sorry for her decision because of the negative response she and WPLR are receiving,” Sprandel said.
So the ads returned… but not in their original form. The new commercials were changed, running without featuring names like Glock or Sig Sauer. As Sprandel said, how do you sell a car without talking about brand names?
After another bout of outrage from listeners, the ads ultimately returned, officially back to the way they were originally crafted.
When we reached out to WPLR, we were simply told that “We have spoken with Blue Line Firearms and they are welcome to advertise with us.”
But even though Sprandel’s ads are once again playing, he has a warning for other store owners.
“It should be noted that WPLR came into my store and asked me to advertise with them, I didn’t call them,” said Sprandel. “I sell legally made firearms in a state where it is legal to sell firearms. This should have everyone concerned.”
When we took a closer look at Blue Line Firearms’s owner, we knew we had to double down on our support for the cause.
Richard Sprandel is a retired municipal police officer with more than 18 years of field experience in Connecticut. His areas of expertise and specialized training include firearms, patrol rifle, advanced high risk entry, SWAT operations, SWAT leadership and active shooter.
So now we have an offer for the store owner. The Law Enforcement Today Radio Show is offering to play Sprandel’s ad on air — for FREE.
Now Blue Line Firearms and any other gun store that has been affected by the feelings of Connoisseur Media can get featured for free during podcast episodes during June and July.
Retired Baltimore PD Sgt. John ‘Jay’ Wiley hosts the LET Radio Show. He says that for the month of June and July he will run the ad for free of any other gun store that was dropped from commercial radio – 1 per episode of the podcast.
Time to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to the Second Amendment and defending America’s liberties.
Where do you stand?