While some businesses are asking customers to leave guns at home, a group that has been promoting an open-carry rally in North Richland Hills, Texas this morning says that they’re getting nothing but support from Home Depot, where the rally is to take place. The matter has customers up in arms on Home Depot’s Facebook page. However, it seems the message being sent by the store is either more nuanced, or more mixed, than the guns group would like to imply.
The Dallas Morning News reports on one side of the mixed messages, saying that a local store representative claimed no knowledge of the event, and said it wasn’t something the store would sponsor. “They are not going to on the Home Depot property,” the unnamed employee affirmed.
Meanwhile, Forbes shares a statement from the store’s corporate communications director, Stephen Holmes. The executive stated a desire to allow the voters in a given district to determine the laws on guns there, and to leave those decisions to the local populace.
“Therefore, customers who are legally permitted to carry firearms are allowed to do so when entering our stores, provided the firearms are carried in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.”
Holmes later contacted Forbes again, though, saying that the company was considering whether the event might violate Home Depot’s anti-discrimination policy by making some customers feel intimidated and uncomfortable.
It seems customers are clear on what message they’re taking, though. Home Depot’s Facebook page is flooded with messages of both appreciation and dissatisfaction with what customers on all sides of the gun debate are seeing as support of gun rights.
“Well now I know that Home Depot is the only place i will go for my hardware needs. Keep standing up for our rights as Americans and never give an inch.”
And, on the other side:
“Allowing the open carry clowns in Home Depot is making a political statement. Home Depot is where I go to buy stuff to fix my house. If I want political statements, I will watch Faux News. I won’t shop at Home Depot anymore until this nonsense is disallowed.”
The rally, according to the event Facebook page, takes place at 11:30 am CDT, and Home Depot has yet to issue any official retraction of the tacit welcome by the company’s CEO.
It remains to be seen, then, whether the event will go well, or be a disaster. Perhaps, like the Patriots for America’s March on Washington earlier this month, the turnout will be near nil. It’s certainly true that the event page shows nearly 2,000 people invited and fewer than 200 attending.
By the end of the day, perhaps Home Depot will either have its stance on allowing open carry affirmed, or will join those corporations who have asked customers to just leave guns at home.
[Photo Credit: Facebook]