A Massachusetts store owner was criticized after posting a sign that reads "WE SELL AMMO," just days after a gunman opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and injuring dozens of others.
“It freaked me out when I saw it,” Mandy Davis, who lives in East Gloucester, Massachusetts, told the Boston Globe. "I had a visceral reaction. It just seemed so violent.”
It was “ugly timing," Davis continued.
The 15-square foot sign hangs below a railing next to another sign that reads "Bait & Tackle." The storeowner, George Allen Jr., sells bait, fixes lawn mowers, sharpens knives and, now, sells ammunition.
But in the wake of the Orlando shooting, Davis said that Allen was "taking an opportunity to blast his politics in a violent way."
Allen disagreed, saying that he would rather be the one doing the shooting than the one getting shot.
"You gotta protect yourself," Allen told the Globe.
“Every week something happens,” Allen said. “You can’t link this with anything. It just happened.”
Allen said he has about 30,000 rounds of ammunition at his store, which he keeps inside a locked cage door. He also has guns in a safe, which he said he would sell were it not for all the forms to fill out.
Allen said his intention was not to stir up controversy by selling ammunition. Rather, he said, the days after a mass shooting is exactly when people should be “reminded that you can protect yourself."
The Massachusetts shop owner pointed out that one of his friends stopped by the store to voice support of the sign.
"You should put the sign in neon lights," Allen said he was told by one individual.
Follow the author of this story on Twitter and Facebook: