California pet store bans Second Amendment supporters from adopting animals and faces backlash

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A California pet store is facing backlash for banning gun rights advocates from adopting stray 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 up for adoption.”
(Shelter Hope Pet Shop via Facebook)

“We do not support those who believe the 2nd Amendment gives them the right to purchase assault weapons,” Shelter Hope Pet Shop said on its website. “If your beliefs don’t match ours, we won’t adopt a pet for you.”

According to their Facebook page, Shelter Hope Pet Shop in Thousand Oaks, Calif., provides “a fun, friendly place for visitors and volunteers to meet and interact” with stray animals. Applicants must be at least 25 years old and able to drive, in addition to being pro-gun control.

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Company owner Kim Sill attributes her strong stance 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 rant on its website.

A California animal shelter wrote an anti-gun rant on its website.
(shelterhopepetshop.org)

Sill also had a chilling encounter with the shooter during the 2018 Thousand Oaks mass shootings, who entered the Shelter Hope Pet Shop under the guise of “community service hours.”

Ian David Long, 28, was secretly checking to see if the pet store was a good site to carry out his mass shooting plan. Long ended up killing twelve people and injuring 16 others when he opened fire on the nearby Borderline Bar & Grill.

A passerby stops to look over a streetside memorial to the Borderline Bar victims in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)

A passerby stops to look over a streetside memorial to the Borderline Bar victims in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. (AP Photo/Amanda Lee Myers)

Shelter Hope Pet Shop also threatened legal action for anyone who hid their pro-gun beliefs in an app.

“If you lie about being an NRA supporter, make no mistake, we will sue you for fraud,” the pet shop threatened.

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Although Sill’s statements do not meet the basis of legal discrimination (because political beliefs are not a protected class like race or gender), his company has received backlash on social media.

Sill says “thousands” of critical emails flood his inbox after the rules went viral. The company’s website appears to have been taken offline on Tuesday evening.

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The NRA also weighed in on the controversy. “Having this stupid political litmus test comes at the expense of needy, homeless dogs and cats,” NRA spokeswoman Amy Hunter told NBC.

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