Gun shop billboard targeting congresswomen replaced

MURPHY, N.C. (AP) — 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.

The controversial billboard in NC depicting members of "The Squad" is coming down, according to Danny Coleman, a salesman for Allison Outdoor Advertising. Coleman told CNN that the owner of Cherokee Gun & Pawn has decided to remove the sign in cooperation with their company, who owns the billboard. (Source: WTVC/CNN)

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."

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.

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?”

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