BOSTON (CBS/AP) — Newly installed billboards praising the state's gun laws have been removed after a pro-gun group said they were misleading.
The billboards were meant to continue a message that has been on a giant anti-gun billboard along the Massachusetts Turnpike in Boston. That billboard is coming down and a number of companies, including Clear Channel, agreed to donate space on other billboards.
The Gun Owners' Action League called the new billboards "inaccurate," arguing gun-related crimes have increased since the state passed a package of gun laws in 1998.
Stop Handgun Violence founder John Rosenthal said pro-gun groups want to stifle discussion about gun safety laws.
"The special interest gun industry believes the Second Amendment is sacrosanct, but the First Amendment is meaningless," Rosenthal said in a statement. "The gun industry is more interested in selling guns and protecting the rights of kids, criminals and mentally ill people to buy guns undetected than the lives of the innocent people who ultimately become their victims.
The billboards carried the message: "We're Not Anti-Gun. We're Pro-Life. Massachusetts Gun Laws Save Lives." They featured a rifle with a white flag in its barrel.
Clear Channel said in a statement that the signs were removed because they were too "politicized."
"With others in the community, we lent media to an anti-violence message," the company said. "This campaign has become politicized and misconstrued as a political position by our company, so we have taken it down."
(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)
for more features.