Since the gun control debate fired up strongly with the shooting of school children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., in December, one Pittsburgh gun store has been running a Facebook contest giving away AR-15 packages, which has drawn both support and criticism.

Up until this week, Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms published the name of the winner of its AR-15 giveaway Facebook campaign, but it is now revising its policy after one such winner said they were being harassed to the point where they had to shut down their Facebook page.

Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms Gives Away AR 15 Packages in Facebook Contests

(Image: Facebook screenshot)

“So here is something that really pisses us off. Our winner of the [AR] package called us about five minutes ago to tell us this. ‘Thanks for what you guys are doing. Over the past few days people have been harassing me and my family on Facebook. I am closing my account because of this.’ That are not his exact words as he was swearing up and down about the liberal media and how they won’t leave him alone.
We might reconsider how we announce winners from now on. We want to keep your privacy as much as you do,” the firearms store wrote on its Facebook page Thursday.

In another post shortly thereafter, the business wrote that it would be allowing contest winners to have the choice of whether they would want their name publicly announced or not.

Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms Gives Away AR 15 Packages in Facebook Contests

Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms logo (Photo: Facebook)

Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms has been receiving local attention for its contest and more recently is making national news. In a radio interview with 1020 KDKA the owner, Eric Lowry, said the giveaway was conceived to drive up business, which it did along with the concern some have over gun regulations. Within 12 hours two days after the December shooting, Lowry said on the radio his store sold out of 95 percent of its inventory. He had to call in friends to help with background checks for those wishing to purchase firearms.

The radio host asked why anyone needs that type of a weapon?

“The number one thing is that it’s your right. It’s your right to own a firearm no matter what type of firearm it is,” Lowry said on the show. “It’s clearly stated that the right to bear arms will not be infringed [...] I don’t think it extends out to tanks and nuclear weapons like a lot of of people are suggesting, but citizens should be armed well enough to defend themselves against a tyrannical government, in which case they should be able to own the same exact firearms that any type of military soldier should be able to own.”

A recent letter signed by 1,100 green berets for the protection of the Second Amendment supported the same sentiment Lowry and others have regarding firearm ownership.

The Huffington Post reported Lowry saying that the contest was not meant to be a form of protest against President Barack Obama’s proposed gun control laws. He added that his store will do another giveaway soon when things quiet down.

 TheBlaze contacted Lowry and will be speaking with him. Stay tuned for more information from Pittsburgh Tactical Firearms’ owner.