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NC Gun Shop Billboard Targeting Congresswomen Replaced


MURPHY — A North Carolina gun shop that drew nationwide attention with a billboard targeting four minority congresswomen replaced it Monday with a sign praising the First Amendment, its owner said.

A billboard sponsored by Cherokee Guns in Murphy had shown the congresswomen with the apocalyptic phrase "The 4 Horsemen Cometh" altered to read "The 4 Horsemen are Idiots."

Cherokee Guns owner Doc Wacholz confirmed in an email to The Associated Press that the billboard message had been changed to one invoking the First Amendment. Television station WDEF published photos of the new billboard that reads: "First Amendment. Enough Said."

The previous version of the billboard had targeted U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib, all of whom have drawn the wrath of President Donald Trump. It was signed "the Deplorables."

Blue Ridge Public Radio reports that more than 30 people gathered near the billboard on Sunday to voice their support for the sign. The gathering came on the heels of deadly mass shootings in Ohio and Texas over the weekend that captured national attention. 

Wacholz said in an email Monday night to The AP that he changed the billboard after receiving threats to himself and his staff. Still, he said that he doesn't regret putting up the sign "nor do I apologize to anyone."

"We had more support then hate and continue to receive lots of positive feedback on the board nationwide," he said.

Deborah Sanders from Murphy told Blue Ridge Public Radio that threats to the store are one of the reasons she came out to support the billboard 

“There is no racism in there whatsoever and for death threats; That’s absolutely ridiculous. If that is what liberals are considering tolerance then shame on them,” says Sanders. 

Elaine Buckley and her husband Pete drove up from Blairsville, Georgia, to be a part of the gathering. Elaine thinks there were fewer supporters because of the mass shootings over the weekend but she isn’t worried about any potential violence:

Elaine Buckley is originally from upstate New York. She and her husband Pete have been living in Blairsville for six years. She brought two firearms to the rally.

“I pack and carry every day. I’m locked and loaded.” 

The board had been criticized as an invitation to violence against the congresswomen. In an August 1 tweet , Tlaib asked the FBI, "are you investigating this type of violence targeting members of Congress?"