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SWEET! - GunTV shopping channel to start its shows in January

SWEET! - GunTV shopping channel to start its shows in January

By Brett Kelman and Xochitl Pena via USA Today

A new home shopping network is set to launch in January with an initial five hours of daily programming, but its controversial niche merchandise has flown under the radar until now.

The goal of GunTV, which also uses the name GTV Live Shopping, is to expand to a 24/7 lineup in its first year but will start at first with a 1 to 5 a.m. schedule that includes more than four hours of shopping opportunities.

The firearms shopping channel was envisioned to appeal to gun companies, who wanted a new venue to advertise their products, and in response to what co-founder Valerie Castle of Rancho Mirage, Calif., called a nationwide "love affair with shooting sports."

"Our business philosophy is filling the need, not creating one," she said. She and partner Doug Bornstein are a couple with professional backgrounds in shopping networks.

Despite the polarizing debate of firearms in America, neither firearm advocates nor gun critics, reached for comment this week, were aware that GunTV was in the works. Not surprisingly, the network drew criticism from anti-gun groups, whose members argued that the shopping network will only add more firearms to a nation that already has too many.

“My gut reaction is this is the last thing we need,” said Laura Cutilletta, senior staff attorney of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. The national nonprofit is based in San Francisco. “When you look at the number of gun deaths in this country every day, the idea that somebody’s ‘brilliant marketing scheme’ is to get more guns into the hands of more people is just a little bit outrageous.”

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