Portland Restaurant Owner Under Fire for AR-15 Post | NECN
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Portland Restaurant Owner Under Fire for AR-15 Post

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    The owner of a popular restaurant and event center in Portland, Maine, has come under fire for a social media post about semi-automatic weapons, in the wake of the Orlando shooting. (Published Wednesday, June 15, 2016)

    The owner of a popular restaurant and event center in Portland, Maine, has come under fire for a social media post about semi-automatic weapons, in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

    It appeared on the Facebook page for Grace, where owner Anne Verrill posted a picture of what appears to be an AR-15 and wrote, in part:

    "I have spent 12 years, intentionally, not being political on this page... Let me be clear, this is not a political issue. This is a human rights issue. If you own this gun, or you condone the ownership of this gun for private use, you may no longer enter either of my restaurants, because the only thing I want to teach my children is love."

    The post went on to say: "How many people have to bury their loved ones before we say together, no more."

    Grace's Facebook page was quickly inundated with responses. A few comments were positive but many were negative. Some people gave the restaurant negative reviews, others threatened to boycott Grace and the other restaurant Verill owns, the Foreside Tavern in Falmouth, Maine.

    "I don't think you should target the people who own [semi-automatic weapons], I think you should target the policy makers," said Maggie Coster, as she walked by Grace in Portland Wednesday.

    "There are other ways," sadded Nakita Richards. "She could circulate a petition on her Facebook page to change the law."

    The original post was deleted by Wednesday morning, replaced with a new status standing by the original, but explaining that it was deleted due to the nature of the comments.

    Anne Verrill declined to speak on camera, but sent necn a private message, explaining: "I don't want to take anyone's gun away, I just do not believe that people should get to privately own assault weapons and call it a second amendment right. Too much has happened."

    David Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, disagrees.

    "People that do understand firearms look at that [post] and go, 'That's foolish,'" said Trahan. "The gun that she posted is no different than a semi-automatic hunting rifle. It's going to cost this young lady a lot of business, I think."


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