Elk Grove Gun Shop Hangs Confederate Flag Back Up, Begins Selling Them

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

ELK GROVE --

After deciding to remove a Confederate flag from their business this summer, Wild Bills Old West Trading Company in Elk Grove has decided to put the banner back up. And now the gun store is selling those flags to customers.

The store's manager, Jacob Shockley, told FOX40 after the death threats kept coming after he took down the flag the first time, he just decided to keep it up.

Now there's rumors a protest by the Sacramento Black Lives Matter movement could be coming to the store next week, according to Shockley.

Shockley said the store decided to start selling the flags after so many of their customers asked for them.

"It's about Southern pride," Shockley said. "I have family from the south, so it's not like I'm just on a bandwagon, my family originated from Arkansas."

But Shockley said there's no denying the flag means profit for his business.

"You don't get my business. I don't want to come there, I don't want to buy a gun from there," said Keisha Thomas, a human rights activist. "(That flag) represents hate, it represents terror."

Thomas was in Sacramento Tuesday night, speaking to the Congregation B'nai Israel in Sacramento. Thomas said it's probably no surprise she doesn't support displaying and selling the Confederate flag. But Thomas said what may surprise some is she defends Wild Bill's right to do so.

"It's your First Amendment right, anything goes," Thomas said.

And Thomas knows all too well about defending views that differ from her own. In 1996 she gained national attention for a Life Magazine photo, showing her saving the life of a Ku Klux Klan supporter. While the man was being beaten by a mob during a protest in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Thomas threw herself on top of him to stop others from attacking him.

"Sometimes you just don't have time to think about what the right thing is to do, you just react because you know what is right and what needs to be done," Thomas said.

But Shockley stresses he and his colleagues are not racists and they don't believe the Confederate flag is a symbol of hate. Shockley said men and women of all races and faiths are welcome at Wild Bills.

"I mean, I have a lot of black customers that come in here and a lot of them say 'it doesn't bother us,'" Shockley told FOX40.

While Thomas respects Shockley's rights, she also supports any protests groups may hold in front of his store, as long as they are peaceful.

"If you want to change somebody's idea or view about racism or whatnot, it's not going to be yelling at them, it's not going to be cussing at them, it's not going to be a violent act, it's the acts of kindness that really pierce the heart and change the mind," Thomas said.

FOX40 reached out to the Black Lives Matter movement in Sacramento, but no one could be reached for comment.