Gun range's latest advertising controversy

"As a small business, Black Friday matters - for us, we've been blessed to be here for the last four years, and we're looking at it as, small business is the life blood of our economy, so we're looking at it as, shop local for Black Friday," said Clark.

Posted: Nov. 8, 2017 3:32 PM
Updated: Nov. 8, 2017 6:30 PM

"I've been here for at least 5 years and I've been 'coon-called' at least 5 times," said Chico State student Rex Bell.

Bell says the "Black Lives Matter" movement is a reminder of his own self worth.

"Even when it comes to crimes in our community it's hard to tell someone that a black life matters when there's so much going on to show that it doesn't" said Bell.

So when a Chico gun range put up a billboard saying "Black Friday Matters" ... Bell says they crossed the line.

But Down Range's owner says the "Black Lives Matter" movement isn't exactly harmless.

"I'm also a law enforcement officer and that stuff is often for us a false narrative, and it can get people hurt rather than just following direction," explained Will Clark, CEO & Owner of Down Range.

Clark's not playing dumb, but he says the add wasn't intended to hurt anyone.

"As a small business, Black Friday matters - for us, we've been blessed to be here for the last four years, and we're looking at it as, small business is the life blood of our economy, so we're looking at it as, shop local for Black Friday," said Clark.

"Businesses do have the freedom under the 1st amendment .. But there's a level of 'rocking the boat' that can be detrimental to the community," said Bell. "It seems to me that they minimalized all of the issues behind black lives Matter. Not intentionally, maybe, I don't think anyone wants to be that monster, maybe they didn't understand the impact it would have."

Some community members say there's no way to say it's right or wrong, it's all a matter or how you choose to take it.

"We get some honks from people who support it and flipped off by somebody else," said Clark.

"I'm a gun rights proponent, 1st amendment and second amendment, and as a pastor I do own guns," said Vince Haynie, a local social justice advocate and pastor.

"There's been a lot of dishonoring and disrespect in this nation from the head down," said Haynie. "But at Down Range, I understand their position as it relates to marketing. I consider myself a marketing genius, and it was genius," said Haynie.

"It's also catchy, we're always trying to push the envelope and do things that make people think and ask questions," said Clark.

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