In an effort to advocate gun rights, a billiards store owner in Colorado is selling tee shirts depicting shoulder holsters that are so realistic, they come with the warning: “Law enforcement officers may overreact to your shirt, do not reach towards it, your actions could get you injured, or even killed.”
“The shirt was just something off the wall and we decided to do it for fun. Well, it turned into a business that we didn’t expect,” Paul Liebe, owner of Niteife Billiards, told CBS affiliate KREX. “It’s our support for the 2nd Amendment, free speech, and they’re just a great conversation starter.”
Available on both polo and tee shirts, the open carry shirts depict an armed shoulder holster, and first started out as gifts for friends around the town. However, they quickly turned into something more. Liebe said that he could not think of a state he has not shipped at least one of the shirts to off the top of his head, indicating that people everywhere are rallying to the open carry cause.
Such an eye-catching graphic would certainly be an effective way to make a statement, but the conversation it starts may not be a conversation the wearer wants to have, especially if it’s with an officer of the law.
Eric Uzelac, vice president of theshirtprinter.com weighs in on the potentail repercussions of wearing this shirt and running into an officer: “This shirt may be a good conversation starter providing the conversation isn’t starting with ‘please don’t shoot.’”
Liebe felt that the graphic design was so realistic he needed to warn customers of potential problems they may experience with law enforcement. That way, if an incident were to occur, they can’t say that he didn’t warn them.
“[The warning] lets them know if a police officer gives them a command because he sees your shirt at a distance and thinks you’re carrying a gun, listen to the officer if he says, ‘freeze, stop halt,’ just listen to him, don’t put your hand on the shirt on the gun, just do what he says,” said Liebe to CBS affiliate KREX.
Fortunately, Liebe said that he hadn’t heard of any disputes between shirt owners and law enforcement.