Gun City owner David Tipple is keeping quiet as outrage grows over a “mind-blowing” billboard still stationed outside his Christchurch store in the wake of Friday’s terror attack.
Tipple says he will explain Gun City’s “involvement in what’s happening” and its “opinion on what could happen going forward” at a press conference on Monday.
He will also respond to concerns about the billboard, which shows a man teaching two young children how to shoot a target, outside the retailer’s Cranford St gun store.
Linwood doctor Richard Griffiths called Stuff to express his disgust after seeing the billboard had not been removed.
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“It always blows my mind and it absolutely staggers me that a sign like that is allowed to be put out advertising guns with a couple of kids,” he said.
Police Deputy Commissioner Wally Haumaha and Chief Coroner Judge Deborah Marshall talk to media about the victim identification process.
“I thought after this disaster that’s got to be out of the way – that can’t be still up surely – and of course it was.”
City councillor Glenn Livingstone also urged Gun City to remove its advertising in Christchurch.
“I call on Gun City to take its signs down in Christchurch,” he tweeted on Sunday.
I call on Gun City to take its signs down in Christchurch
— Glenn Livingstone (@glenn20sixteen) March 17, 2019
Griffiths said his two children were “beside themselves” as their school was locked down following Friday’s attacks, which killed 50 people.
“I’m a GP that works in Linwood – they were scared stiff when they heard that people had been shot because they associated it with me down there,” he said.
“I’m just so angry about the whole thing and I just think that place cannot be allowed to advertise like that particularly in the face of what’s just happened.”
Tipple refused to comment on Sunday night, opting to wait until the press conference in central Christchurch on Monday afternoon.
“I’ll talk about that [billboard on Monday] too,” he said.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has signalled gun laws will change after the mass shooting.
Last year, Tipple vowed to take court action against police after a denied import application for semi-automatic rifles and parts.
Central to the dispute was the classification of the AR15 semi-automatic rifle – one of the weapons used in Friday’s terror attack.
The lightweight rifle is available for purchase with a standard rifle licence provided it has a magazine capacity no greater than seven bullets, and no free-standing pistol grip.
An AR15 with a free-standing pistol grip, or a larger magazine, is deemed a military style semi-automatic rifle (MSSA) and requires the more rigorously inspected “E-Cat” firearm licence.
Tipple’s lawyer, Nicholas Taylor, said police refused the importation of AR15 rifles able to be purchased with a standard licence, arguing the rifles were “born as MSSAs”.