Brendan Von, a Marine veteran, holds
his oversized cardboard rifle to
advertise his gun parts store. (ABC 10)
A California gun store owner was reprimanded by the cops after waving an AR-15 cardboard cutout outside of his business to draw in customers, according to a report by ABC10 News in Oceanside, Calif.
Brendan Von, a Marine veteran, started waving the large, cardboard sign in front of his store, “Firearms Unknown,” last fall during Black Friday shopping. The store told CNSNews.com today that it uses the sign "on a regular basis."
According to ABC 10, some people assumed the over-sized gun-sign was real, prompting complaints and even a visit from the local police.
A local woman told ABC 10 that she believed the sign was over the top.
“It looks like a machine gun, it is pretty aggressive,” she said. “I think he’s doing too much, but then again, they do have the freedom to do that.”
“A couple people just going by, flipping me the bird,” said Von, the store owner. “Either scolding me or yelling some type of obscenity.”
“It kind of frustrated me that somebody would call [the police] and make a false statement like that, knowing that it is a cardboard sign that is very flimsy,” he said.
According to the ABC report, Von said the police asked him to stop or change the sign and after he refused, the police left.
“I respectfully said no,” said Von “It’s kind of a slap in the face as a veteran.”
Despite the criticism, Von said he is happy his controversy brought business in and triggered a First Amendment debate, and added that has no plans to stop waving the sign.
“All the amendments matter,” said Von. “You hear a lot of stuff today, you know, this matters, that matters. Well, I matter and my rights matter.”
“Every American matters,” said Von.
He also stressed that the sign is cardboard and he “did get a paper cut from it.”