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Protect Morgantown: Big Daddy Guns challenge ‘not a game we’re willing to play’

MORGANTOWN — “It’s not a game we find cute or clever, nor is it a game we’re willing to play.”

That’s how Protect Morgantown organizer Jodi Hollingshead responded Thursday morning to the fundraising challenge issued Wednesday by Big Daddy Guns cofounder Sherrie McKnight.

The Florida-based gun retailer and the community group have been at odds since it became known the business would be a part of The Deck, the new development at 1050 University Ave.

On Wednesday, McKnight challenged Protect Morgantown to a fundraising challenge to benefit the Monongalia County Deputy Sheriff’s Association’s Back to School program.

The loser, McKnight proposed, “Must cease their operation.”

In a statement provided to The Dominion Post and shared on social media, Hollingshead said Protect Morgantown isn’t interested in the challenge.

Further, she reiterated the group isn’t opposed to guns or the 2nd Amendment, just this particular business opening in downtown Morgantown.

“This stunt further demonstrates Big Daddy Guns’ lack of understanding of the people of Morgantown — that a group of parents, students, community leaders, business owners, faith leaders, and elected officials, many being gun owners, finds their business practices reprehensible. Big Daddy Guns profits from vilifying the left, embracing conspiracy theorists like Alex Jones and glorifying perpetrators of gun violence like Kyle Rittenhouse.”

Hollingshead said her group will continue to focus its efforts on Hardy World, developer of The Deck.

“Hardy World has the power to offer downtown Morgantown a place for coffee and community, or firearms and fear,” she wrote, referencing Starbucks, which recently publicized its intention to pull its store from the development.

McKnight told The Dominion Post that Big Daddy Guns would continue the fundraising efforts regardless of whether Protect Morgantown chose to participate.

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