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Mayor says he was asked to leave gun store after having words with owner. Store says mayor is lying.

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Mayor John Ditslear of Noblesville, Indiana — where a school shooting took place last week — said he was asked to leave a gun store after having words with the owner. But the store said the mayor is lying. (Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot)

Mayor John Ditslear of Noblesville, Indiana — where a seventh-grader opened fire in a classroom last week and injured two people before a teacher tackled him — is a Republican and told WTTV-TV he considers himself “a Second Amendment guy."

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

But all the same he didn't like what was happening at a new gun store in town, which held its grand opening the day after the shooting, the station said.

You see, Hoosier Armory also had a National Rifle Association tent set up outside its new store Saturday, and Ditslear thought that was going too far. So he had a little chat with the owner, WTTV reported.

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

“I did approach the owner, and I just told him that, ‘No one expected this, but you’re hurting your business in my opinion, strongly, and you’re hurting our city,’ and I asked them to maybe just think about it and take the tent down," the mayor told the station.

And then Ditslear added, "I was asked to leave," WTTV noted.

“The NRA needs to realize that they have a place in this to protect gun owners, but they also have to make sure that gun owners are responsible," Ditslear added to the station. "I was not happy that I was asked to leave.”

Ditslear told WTTV he hopes Hoosier Armory "learned a lesson" but that he hasn't "talked to them. Again, I was asked to leave, so I won’t go in there until I’m asked to come back.”

The NRA will hold its 2019 national convention in Indianapolis, WTTV said.

What did the gun store have to say?

Ralph Ripple, Hoosier Armory's managing partner, said in a statement that the mayor "literally lied" about being asked to leave, the station reported:

Hello everyone. I am a partner at Hoosier Armory. Firearms are our passion and this business lets my partners and I share that passion with fellow shooters.

After the school shooting, my partners and I had a long, heartfelt discussion about what to do about our grand opening on Saturday. If anyone thinks we made the decision to continue with something we had been planning for months without a lot of concern and anxiety, you are mistaken. This was a hard decision for us. We feel horrible for those injured in the shooting. We thank God for the fact that no one was killed. At the same time, we are getting tired of gun owners and the NRA being blamed for every shooting that occurs in this country. For this reason, we decided to continue with our plans.

Some members of the team from the NRA had flown in the night before to attend our grand opening. They had time and money invested in the visit and it had been planned months ago. They offered to stand down but we asked them to set up anyways. They made an offer to not accept new registrations at their booth and to only answer questions about what the NRA does and we accepted that offer. No new NRA members were registered that day.

This has been a painful few days for us here at Hoosier Armory. The mayor of Noblesville literally lied about his visit to the shop. He was never asked to leave and he ended the conversation mid-stream and left without allowing us to plead our case. In other words, he told us his feelings about the situation and then left to join the protesters because the news media had arrived.

We know we will take a hit on this, our facebook page is already lighting up with bad reviews from people who have never been in the shop and don't know what we are all about. No news media has mentioned any of our charitable activities involving helping injured police officers and helping with firearm suicide prevention.

I want you all to know, we are devastated every time there is a shooting like the one in Noblesville. My partners have kids and grandkids so we know the concerns of parents everywhere. However, we also see the black eyes given to legal law-abiding gun owners everytime something like this happens, We all know that in reality, gun owners are the most law-abiding group of people out there. We see the NRA villainized for school shootings when they offer more ideas to prevent them than our politicians ever do.

I will say that the majority of gun owners have supported us so far through this. I hope we can count on all of you.

Many thanks and God bless.

What did a protesting student have to say?

Clara Lawson — a junior at Noblesville High School where middle school students were reunited with their parents after the shooting — helped organize a protest outside the Hoosier Armory and spent four hours carrying signs with friends, WTTV said.

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

“We’re not trying to take away your guns. We understand that’s a right, and I understand that, too,” the 17-year-old told the station. “I was protesting the NRA booth, not the Hoosier Armory, because I understand that’s their store, they’re fine if they’re there, that’s their right. But I thought it was really inappropriate that the NRA booth would be there when they saw what had happened the day before — but they still set up, and they continued what they were doing right across the town from a tragedy.”

Image source: WTTV-TV video screenshot

Lawson added to the station the she believes "gun control shouldn’t be a conservative versus liberal idea. I think it’s kind of a common sense thing because it’s all of us. We’re all involved. We can be safe and people can keep their guns.”



(H/T: Bearing Arms)

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