LAS VEGAS (CBSLA/AP) — A freeway-side billboard for a Las Vegas gun range was vandalized late Wednesday or before dawn Thursday to change an advertisement inviting tourists to fire an assault-style rifle to say, “Shoot A School Kid Only $29.”
The message, which also included the phrase “DEFEND LIVES REFORM LAWS” was taken down within hours and police were investigating. Officer Larry Hadfield said authorities were called a little before 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
Photos taken later Thursday afternoon showed workers removing the modified portion of the billboard.
File images show a similar billboard was put up last fall around the same time the Las Vegas shooting occurred, which left 58 people dead and hundreds more injured on Oct. 1, 2017.
A local guerrilla art collective called INDECLINE took credit for the act with a statement to KTNV-TV in Las Vegas calling for reforming gun laws “that are currently placing value on assault weapons over that of human life.”
The San Diego-based INDECLINE is the same group behind life-sized naked statues of President Trump that appeared in Hollywood and several other major U.S. cities in the summer of 2016.
A Twitter page using the handle @indecline lists various pro-vandalism items for sale, including a “riot gear” baton, 12-ounce black and white spray cans, mace, a “new and improved” prison shank, and a black hoodie emblazoned with the words “LEGALIZE CRIME”.
INDECLINE released a statement on the group’s Instagram page, which read in part: “It’s difficult to have a conversation these days about gun reform over the sound of AR-15’s and the screams of the victims. We’ve reached a point in American culture where mass shootings, some involving children, are tolerable. INDECLINE doesn’t typically align itself with political parties, but when our politicians align themselves with nefarious corporations like the NRA, who value unrestricted access to assault rifles over human life, it requires direct action.”
A worker at Battlefield Las Vegas, the gun range that invites tourists to shoot a .50-caliber semi-automatic rifle, referred questions to managers who did not immediately respond to telephone and email messages.
The billboard near Interstate 15 is about 3.5 miles from the Mandalay Bay resort, where a gunman firing assault-style rifles from 32nd-floor windows killed 58 people and injured more than 800 late Oct. 1 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)