A Columbia, Tennessee, gun shop owner was told thanks, but no thanks when he tried to sponsor his kids’ Little League team, all because team officials were concerned the shop’s logo – which features the silhouette of a rifle – may be offensive.
When Gabe Wren signed up his kids to play baseball with the Lions Club in Spring Hill, he offered a check for sponsorship from his business, Northside Gun Shop.
“They said, ‘Thank you,’ and took the check and said I could sponsor a team,” Wren recalled. “Then I was notified as of today that my logo, because it displays a gun, that it wasn’t going to be appropriate and it may offend people.”
Wren said Sponsorship Coordinator Max Westmoreland, who didn’t want to speak on camera, came into his shop last week and tried to further explain their stance. He noted that Westmoreland was very nice and said the Lions Club, in general, isn’t anti-gun. In fact, Westmoreland said most of their members support gun rights.
“But they’re worried about offending someone or causing a problem with the parents making a mountain out of a mole hill,” Wren said.
Wren said they asked him to alter the logo so it could be displayed on team jerseys, but he refused.
“It’s a gun on a shirt. That gun can’t jump off a shirt to kill anybody,” he said. “I spent 15 years of my life in the service. It’s my logo, it’s my business, it’s what I am proud of.”
The club requested Wren alter the logo, so it didn’t have the gun silhouette, but he refused.
“I am not going to deface my logo to put it on their jersey to fit some sort of breed of tolerance that they feel needs to happen,” Wren said. “I’m going to let my children play because it’s about the kids and the game and that’s why I sponsored it in the first place.”
Meanwhile, another team said they would proudly display Wren’s logo, so Wren plans to sponsor that team instead.
[ Fox 17 ]