Woman’s anger over Eastbourne shop sign deemed ‘offensive’

The sign posted in the shop window (Photo by Jon Rigby)
The sign posted in the shop window (Photo by Jon Rigby)

A resident is angry over a shop’s sign which she says glorifies weapons.

The woman, who wished not to be named, contacted the Herald to express her disgust over the notice displayed on the window of the Oldtown Armoury in Crown Street.

On it, the sign says, ‘Say hello to what could be your little friend. Buy your gun today’.

The woman said, “I am appalled to see the notice in the shop window, suggesting that guns are ‘little friends’. It is also advertising AK47s at £200. While these guns are ‘deactivated’, the notion of guns as ‘friends’ and ‘play things’ in this era of awful terrorism and gun crime is, I believe, offensive to many people and dangerous to young impressionable minds.

“I did tell the owner that I found the notices in his window offensive. He stated that ‘guns are not dangerous and don’t kill’.

“He seemingly fails to understand how young minds are susceptible to such selling techniques and attitudes.

“I am not against him carrying out his business, but I am against such an open idea of guns as ‘friends’ and ‘harmless’.

“I recognise these notices are not illegal, as he was keen to tell me, but the whole shop frontage is designed to suggest ‘fighting as acceptable’.

“I did not argue with him, nor raise my voice, just told him that I found his advertising notices offensive.”

She claimed the owner ‘refused to have reasonable discussion’ when she aired her views.

The woman said, “Such an attitude and open encouragement of what could be considered ‘aggression’ is detrimental to other shopkeepers and owners.”

Ryan Neale, co-owner of the Oldtown Armoury, said the sign was based on a famous quote from the 1983 gangster movie, Scarface.

In it, Tony Montana, played by Al Pacino, says, ‘Say hello to my little friend!’ in reference to his machine gun.

Mr Neale said, “From where we stand we are not breaking the law. What goes on around the world is totally irrelevant and nothing to do with this.

“I own live guns and have been well vetted. I can’t risk adding anything offensive because I could lose my career. Fair enough, it’s her view but what the lady needs to understand is that guns do not harm anyone. It’s the finger of the person who pulls the trigger which causes harm.”

He said the woman was ‘abrupt and loud’ when she complained.

Mr Neale added, “My business is taking a gun that would’ve potentially been a threat to someone off the street.

“I’ve run the business for eight years and we sell deactivated guns to movies, re-enactment societies, music videos and private collectors.”

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