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MLK gun sale ad disturbs newspaper readers

Posted at 6:50 PM, Jan 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-15 18:50:06-05

ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE/CNN) - Plastered alongside women's basketball scores in the sports section of Sunday's Albuquerque Journal is an add for a sale at a gun shop.

Los Ranchos Gun Shop is promoting 10 percent off all accessories with the purchase of a gun for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

"Certainly, Martin Luther King Day for the past three years has been a tremendous sales day for us. People have the day off,” said gun shop owner Mark Abramson.

Customers who mention the ad get an additional 5 percent off their purchase. Many residents say they're bothered by the sales tactic.

"There's irony and I haven't seen any other businesses have a sale for Martin Luther King and its so ironic that a gun shop," said Albuquerque resident Hanz Herdia.

That irony, as some have pointed out on social media, is because of what King stood for; Non-violence and peaceful protest.

Not to mention, the civil rights leader was assassinated with a gun in Memphis in 1968.

"I do think its in bad taste and I'm sure other people have used historical figures to sell things but it also helps to reflect their morals and it doesn't in this case,” said Albuquerque resident Allen Marquez.

Gunshop owner Mark Abramson said he didn't mean to offend anyone.

"I thought it was an appropriate depiction of Dr. King. We celebrate some of the freedoms we have because of the work he did," Abramson said.

He believes the advertisement is consistent with King's mission of equality.

"Jim Crow laws and things that happened immediately after The Civil War and continued for almost 100 years denied blacks, denied minorities the right to defend themselves while the majority could do that. Dr. King fought against that," Abramson said.

But people we spoke with also say guns aside, MLK Day shouldn't be about getting a good deal.

"It would just be nice to think about what he wanted for not just the African American community but every community for us to live in peace and move forward," said former New Mexico Party Chairperson Debra Haaland.

Abramson said he didn't design the ad himself, but that he approved it to run in Sunday's newspaper.

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