A first-of-its-kind television network that showcases guns and other shooting products is set to launch April 1 across the country. The network will feature hosts reviewing and demonstrating guns and shooting accessories for viewers to purchase, with a goal of creating a broadcast shopping network for guns 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
The new network, dubbed GunTV, is similar to popular television direct-to-consumer networks such as QVC and Home Shopping Network, that showcase new products with high-energy hosts who advertise the products through demonstrations and buyer feedback. Producers behind GunTV say its programming will be packed with safety information, live-fire demonstrations and detailed product reviews.
“Viewers are going to see home shopping in a light that’s never been done before,” said GunTV managing partner Valerie Castle in an interview with Grand View Outdoors. “This is really going to be must-see TV.”
The launch of GunTV comes as the firearms industry continues to grow, with background checks for gun sales hitting record numbers and more new gun owners reportedly entering the market in reaction to terrorist attacks and laws that make it easier to carry concealed weapons. But critics argue the network could promote violence by encouraging impulse purchases of guns.
“Bringing a product in your home that kills 30,000 people a year, many of them children who die when they find guns in the home, should be a well thought out decision,” Laura Cutilletta of the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence told Newsweek, “not something done on a whim while watching TV at 3 a.m.”
But Castle argues the exact opposite, saying that GunTV provides the perfect venue to demonstrate how guns are sold and purchasers vetted by the feds.
“There’s no greater resource to provide information on safe firearms use than GunTV,” Castle said. “It’s our job to convey that message. … Safety is our number one priority.”
For now, GunTV will broadcast seven days a week from 1:00 am to 7:00 am Eastern time but will expand beyond that as the audience grows, with a goal of airing 24 hours per day, all week. Shows will be available for streaming in real-time on the GunTV website and episodes will be archived so viewers can watch them anytime.
The network has teamed with sporting goods distributor Sports South and its network of over 5,000 gun stores to ship products purchased through GunTV to the Federal Firearms Licensed dealer closest to the buyer. The gun is shipped directly to the gun store and the customer completes a background check before he can take it home.
Castle said the network has teamed with big name firearms manufacturers to sell over the air and will expand to accessories and other shooting sports products as GunTV grows.
Hosts for the show include actress and rodeo star Carly Twissleman, 30CalGal Anette Yachter, former Marine special ops officer Billy Birdzell and actor Rydell Danzi. Castle said the team of hosts is a good mix of Hollywood stars, athletes and “down-to-earth” firearms enthusiasts who complement each other on the air and will demonstrate safe firearms use and how the guns fit and function for a variety of potential buyers.