OFF TARGET? The Gun World Australia sign which sits next to Gympie's southern
OFF TARGET? The Gun World Australia sign which sits next to Gympie's southern "welcome” sign caused a stir online, with readers split over whether it was "bad taste” or "nothing to see here”. Scott Kovacevic

Gympie reacts to cheeky new gun billboard

COULD the unfortunate location of a billboard advertising guns next to Gympie's southern "welcome" sign reignite a reputation the region is eager to bury in the past?

For some readers the answer is yes.

It is one of several points made by readers who helped send 2018 out with a bang thanks to heated debate over the Gun World Australia sign, it's placement and even just the fact of gun stores advertising at all.

Bron Marsh was one of several concerned about the long-term impact.

"I own guns, have no problems with legal gun ownership, but this doesn't give a balanced representation of Gympie.

 

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front Scott Kovacevic

"I think it's inappropriate to have such a sign beside a welcome sign," she said.

Scott Lucas ("[it] certainly gives the wrong impression") and Lydia Williams ("I think this it's bad taste and should be removed") likewise shared concerns about the possible effect.

Does having a large shotgun next to Gympie's "welcome" sign give the wrong image about the region?

This poll ended on 08 January 2019.

Current Results

Yes, it's been hard enough to ditch the "Helltown" tag.

37%

No, the signs are clearly separate.

29%

I really don't care.

33%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Jackson Burgess took a different view.

"I'm like solid anti-gun (no disrespect, it's more of a generalisation than gun ownership for individuals), and this add sits fine with me," he said.

 

Controversial Gun World Australia billboard on the Sunshine Coast in February 2018.
Another controversial Gun World Australia billboard on the Sunshine Coast was highlighted by the ABC in February 2018. ABC

"It's just a pun."

However, that debate was quickly trampled by a social media stampede over the legitimacy and legality of gun shops advertising in general.

A poll run with the story shows 84 per cent of voters saying there was no issue with the sign, and only 11 per cent wanting it taken down.

Three per cent did not care.

 

Survey results over what readers feel about the Gunworld Sign at Gympie's south entrance.
Survey results over what online readers felt about the Gunworld Sign at Gympie's southern entrance. The Gympie Times

The result may need an asterisk though: it was shared in shooting enthusiast and lobby sites like Australian National Firearms Enthusiasts page, where members celebrated "skewing their results".

The member who shared the link noted that since his post it had gone from a "41% (for) / 41% (against) and 18% (don't care) to 20% / 70% / 8% respectively".

More than 1000 people have voted.

The Logan-based company behind the sign is no stranger to controversy, drawing the ire over the past 14 months for several other similar billboards.