Texas gun centre faces backlash over 'back to school' gun sale advertisement

A gun store in the US state of Texas has been slammed for their poor choice of words, advertising a "back to school" gun sale on a large public marquee sign.

The sign, located on Mason Rd in the city of Katy, advertised Boyert Shooting Center's five-day "back to school sale" with "up to 50 percent off firearms". A woman named Michelle Simons took a photo of the sign and sent it to ABC7.

"It was so jarring like, did I really see that?" Simons told the outlet.

Simons and her husband were driving down Mason Rd when they came across the large yellow sign. 

"In the current climate where we have school shootings... mass shootings... it seems like a real poor choice of words," she said.

The couple have speculated whether the intended purpose of the advertisement was to generate controversy. 

"I hope it was some kind of glaring oversight... what does back to school have anything to do with getting guns?" Simons told ABC7.

The media outlet reached out to Boyert Shooting Center, who responded to the controversy with the following statement:

"We have friends and family who are teachers and our way of reaching out and saying thank you is by offering a summer-long promotion of discounted training courses, firearms and accessories.

"It is now legal to conceal carry in some colleges, and for teachers in certain school districts to conceal carry as well."

A series of new firearm laws will go into effect in Texas next month. The laws, passed before the El Paso shooting on August 3, will further loosen gun restrictions in a state that's had four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history. 

House Bill 1134 says a school district cannot ban licensed gun owners (including school employees) from storing a gun or ammunition in a locked vehicle on a school parking lot - meaning firearms are legally allowed to be kept on school grounds.

The Shooting Centre is located on a busy main road, surrounded by a car wash, several eateries, a gym, retail outlets and a Presbyterian church. As well as being a retail outlet, it also offers an indoor shooting range and several handgun training classes.