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A California pet shop is facing backlash for banning gun rights advocates from adopting abandoned animals from their store.
Shelter Hope Pet Shop describes itself as “a fun, friendly place where visitors and volunteers can meet and interact with animals needing adoption.” (Shelter Hope Pet Shop via Facebook)
“We do not support those who believe that the 2nd amendment gives them the right to buy assault weapons,” Shelter Hope Pet Shop stated on their website. “If your beliefs are not in line with ours, we will not adopt a pet to you.”
According to their Facebook page, Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, Calif. provides “a fun, friendly place where visitors and volunteers can meet and interact” with abandoned animals. Applicants must be at least 25 and able to drive, in addition to being pro-gun control.
Business owner Kim Sill credits her strong position on gun control to the tragic death of her sister Michelle, who was shot by her husband.
A California animal shelter wrote an anti-gun diatribe on their website. (shelterhopepetshop.org)
Sill also had a chilling encounter with the gunman in the 2018 Thousand Oaks mass shooting, who went into the Shelter Hope Pet Shop under the guise of “community service hours”.
Ian David Long, 28, was secretly checking if the pet store was a good site to carry out his plan for a mass shooting. Long ended up killing twelve people and injuring 16 others when he opened fire at the Borderline Bar & Grill nearby.
A passerby stops to look over a street side memorial to the shooting victims of the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif. on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)
Shelter Hope Pet Shop also threatened legal action against anyone who hid their pro-gun beliefs on an application.
“If you lie about being a NRA supporter, make no mistake, we will sue you for fraud,” the pet shop threatened.
Though Sill’s statements do not meet the basis of legal discrimination (as political beliefs are not a protected class like race or gender), her business has received backlash on social media.
Sill says that “thousands” of critical emails are flooding her inbox after the rules went viral. The business’s website appears to have gone offline Tuesday evening.
The NRA has also weighed in to the controversy. “Having this asinine political litmus test comes at the expense of needy and homeless dogs and cats,” NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter said to NBC.