Open-carry activists target business owners over prohibiting gun - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Open-carry activists target business owners over prohibiting guns in stores

Signs posted outside Mississippi businesses are creating tension between store owners and gun activists. Signs posted outside Mississippi businesses are creating tension between store owners and gun activists.
Letters threatening their businesses were sent to owners who posted the signs. Letters threatening their businesses were sent to owners who posted the signs.

(WMC-TV) - Open-carry advocates in North Mississippi are targeting business owners now that several of them have posted signs saying guns are not welcomed in their stores.

The signs posted outside Mississippi businesses are creating tension between store owners and gun activists.

"I don't want somebody walking into my business with a gun on their hip," said Elwanda Whitehead, who owns a consignment store in Senatobia.

The signs are angering some second amendment activists.

Barbara Aldridge manages a salon in Senatobia. She recently received a disturbing letter.

"It told me that it would make sure our business failed unless we took the sign down," she said.

Several business owners at a Senatobia shopping center got the same letter. There is also a Facebook page dedicated to posting the names of businesses outlawing firearms. The Facebook page's administrator declined to comment on the controversy.

People in town say they see both sides.

"I can see the pro to that, being able to protect yourself on the spot," said Erynn McDaniel.

Elwanda Whitehead has the sign posted at her new store. She did not receive a letter, but says even if she did, her sign would not be coming down.

"If they come in here and say that to me, I'd say, 'Sorry I can't use your business then, because this is my right and my business to do what I want to do, and he has every right to do what he wants to do,'" she said.

Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood just appealed the injunction on the open-carry laws. Aldridge says no matter the outcome, she is leaving her sign up.

"I'm OK with them, you know the law of toting the guns, just leave it in the car when you come in our salon," added Aldridge.

The police chief in Senatobia says that the person who wrote the letter was within his rights, but so are the business owners who are posting the signs.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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