New Mexico gun store’s MLK Day advert stirs controversy

An advertisement promoting a sale at a New Mexico gun shop on Martin Luther King Jr. Day is stirring up controversy.

The ad for the Los Ranchos Gun Shop includes the image of a statue of King, along with text that promotes 10 percent off all accessories with the purchase of a gun.

Civil rights organizers questioned the appropriateness of the ad’s timing.

“We do regret that it happened on the day when nonviolence is protected,” said Pamelya Herndon, vice chair of the NAACP’s Albuquerque branch.

Others said they do not believe the ad is in line with King’s beliefs.

“I don’t think that Dr. Martin Luther King would have advocated for guns in any way, because he was strictly nonviolent.,” said Cecilia Webb, president of the National Council of Negro Women in Albuquerque.

The owner of the Los Ranchos Gun Shop, Mark Abramson, said he was shocked by the backlash. He said he thought the ad was no different than any other retailer promoting its holiday sale.

“People have the time off and the opportunity to get into our shop and see exactly what they could be buying,” said Abramson.

Some critics think the ad is especially insensitive because the civil rights leader was shot dead.

Abramson said the holiday is not about King’s assassination, but a celebration of his achievements.

Amid the controversy, Abramson is issuing an apology.

“I’m sorry anyone was offended by it, but there was certainly no intention to do that,” said Abramson.

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