SACRAMENTO – A gun store’s banner has now been removed from not one, but three Costcos; including two here in Northern California.
The banner featured Sacramento Black Rifle’s logo which includes the image of an AR-15 rifle.
At many Costco locations, local businesses can donate to the Children’s Miracle Network, a non-profit that funds children in hospitals.
For just $500, businesses that donate get to hang a banner ad inside Costco.
For Sacramento Black Rifle it seemed like a great deal. While the gun store was refunded, the money was supposed to go to charity.
“So, it’s kind of two-fold, we’re donating to a good cause and also getting some advertisement at our local Costco,” said Nate Woodward, store manager of Sacramento Black Rifle.
Woodward says his store and their sister store, Sparks Black rifle in Nevada, had their banners up in Costco for a few years.
But this year, everything changed.
“Citrus Heights actually told us that it was against their guidelines. They didn’t want to have the banner up in their store anymore,” Woodward said.
Black Rifle’s logo features the image of an AR-15 and that is what was on the banner.
It was a similar situation at the Sparks store.
“After a week they said, ‘hey we don’t want the banner up anymore somebody complained’,” said Woodward.
Woodward says both Costcos refunded the $500 payments.
But then something strange happened.
“Roseville Costco came into the store and they actually solicited us. Two representatives from the company came in and said, ‘we want your banner in our store. We’re going to put it front and center’,” Woodward said. “The citrus heights situation was isolated to them. It’s not for the company.”
Again, Woodward saw it as a win-win, help a charity, get good advertising.
So once again he cut a check for $500.
However, before the banner could even go up in the Roseville store, Woodward says he got a letter from Costco with a refund in the mail. With absolutely no explanation on why he was receiving the money back.
“AR-15 is our logo, and they knew that when they came into the store and solicited us, so it wasn’t a secret, that’s what all of the banners look like,” Woodward said.
Woodward believes Costco has just gotten too many complaints about the logo.
There are no plans to change the logo of the AR-15, according to Woodward.
Sacramento Black Rifle says it feels bad for the Children’s Miracle network, the non-profit which has now lost a thousand dollars in donations from its two stores.