The National Rifle Association has issued a warning to gun owners in the U.S. that "they're coming after us" after a threatening message appeared on a billboard in Louisville, Kentucky.
The vandalized billboard appeared on the Interstate 65 with the message “Kill the NRA.” The sign adds “Resist 45” in smaller lettering, referring to Donald Trump, the 45th president of the U.S.
David Watkins, a spokesman for Outfront Media, the company who own the billboard, confirmed that the graffiti had been "immediately removed” and a police report filed for vandalism, reports the Courier Journal.
The sign appeared in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where suspected gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people after opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
The tragedy has once again reunited the debate on gun control in the U.S, with the NRA again under pressure from those who urge increased restrictions on gun ownership.
Responding the billboard, the NRA posted on their official Facebook page: “Here’s an image from Kentucky, this morning. To all American gun owners, this is a wakeup call. They’re coming after us. Like and share to spread the word.”
The NRA was previously urged to reconsider moving the location of its annual convention away from Dallas by a public official in the wake of the Parkland massacre.
Dwaine Caraway, the mayor pro tempore of the city, said that the Parkland attack, along with the 2016 shooting in Dallas which left five police officers dead, meant it would not be appropriate to hold the convention there.
"It is a tough call when you ask the NRA to reconsider coming to Dallas. But it is putting all citizens first and getting them to come to the table and elected officials to come to the table, and to address this madness now," Caraway said
Responding to the comments, Andrew Arulanandam, an NRA spokesman, told WFAA : "No politician anywhere can tell the NRA not to come to their city.
"We are already there. Dallas, like every American city and community, is populated by NRA members. Our members work in fire stations and police departments. They save lives in local hospitals and own businesses in communities urban and rural throughout this country."
In the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, a Quinnipiac University National Poll revealed that 66 percent of American voters are in favor of stricter gun laws, with ninety-seven percent showing support for universal background checks.
Under pressure to act, Trump announced an order banning the sale of bump stock devices, which are used to modify assault rifles to increase fire rate.
Las Vegas gunman Stephan Paddock legally purchased a bump stock to alter his AR-15 rifle, the gun also used in the Florida school shooting, in order to shoot up to 800 rounds per minute at the crowd attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on 1 October, killing 58 and injuring more than 500.
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