Advertising company to remove NC gun shop’s billboard insulting minority congresswomen

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MURPHY, N.C. (WTVC/CNN) – A North Carolina billboard that goes after four congresswomen is coming down, according to the advertising company behind the billboard.

The billboard advertisement for Cherokee Guns in Murphy, N.C., depicts Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Rep. Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, and Rep. Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and includes a message calling them “idiots.”

The decision to remove the billboard has some people applauding the action and has others alarmed.

After Allison Outdoor Advertising vowed on Wednesday to take down the controversial billboard amid a national conversation, the owner of Cherokee Guns – who would only identify himself as “Doc” – said he’s staying firm in his beliefs.

“We don’t like their message of turning this country into a socialist country,” Doc said. “That’s the message. Nothing more to read than that.”

Doc helped create the billboard, and said it achieved its purpose.

In a handwritten statement, he said the “billboard has been driving business into our store. This was the main goal, as what any billboard is for! We give no apologies as we believe in our message, as many others do.”

When asked why they made the decision, a spokesman for the advertising company responded: “We’re not in the business of upsetting people. It’s just a shame that this has come to this.”

Bill Owens of Murphy came to take photos of the billboard Thursday. He said he’s in full support of it.

“It’s a classic picture. I think it should stay,” he said. “I think it’s wrong to take it down. They can have freedom of speech apparently, and we can’t. I don’t understand that at all.”

Patrick Miljour of Asheville, said the message on the billboard is divisive and doesn’t speak to the ideals of the country.

“This isn’t cool, you know?” he said. “Those people are Americans. I’m American. You’re American.”

Cherokee Guns was very busy Thursday. People were coming in and saying they supported Doc and that they liked the sign.

Doc said the store will sue the advertising company if necessary to keep the billboard up in order to stand for their beliefs.

Copyright 2019 WTVC via CNN. All rights reserved.

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