December 21, 2012

Maine group protests Cabela's gun sales

The store sells the assault rifle used in the school shootings in Connecticut.

By David Hench
Staff Writer

SCARBOROUGH — A small group gathered outside the parking lot of Cabela's on Friday morning to protest the outdoor outfitter's sales of assault rifles like the one that was used in last week's school shootings in Connecticut.

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A small group led by Steve Swift of Vassalboro, right, protests the sale of assault rifles at Cabela's in Scarborough on Friday

John Patriquin / Staff Photographer

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Five people held signs, including one that said "Cabela's, please stop selling assault rifles," with a picture of an assault rifle with a line through it.

"We're asking them to please consider what they're doing when they sell these weapons," said Steve Swift of Vassalboro. "We want them to consider these weapons are not necessary to deer hunting."

As the group stood at the corner of Haigis Parkway and Payne Road, some passing drivers honked their horns in support, while others made angry gestures.

A store manager referred questions to Cabela's corporate office. A spokesman there did not return a telephone call.

Cabela's sells the Bushmaster .223, the gun used in the school shootings, and other assault-style rifles. Its website notes that the Bushmaster .223 is not available in its Connecticut stores.

Customers outside the store said they were not bothered by the sales of assault-style rifles because of the Second Amendment and blamed the people who use guns, not the guns.

Dave Hughes, a retired businessman and attorney from Cumberland, was one of the protesters. He said last week's shootings were the last straw for him. "It finally got me off the couch," he said. "We've crossed a line."

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

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