Gun rights billboard in Dayton raising eyebrows - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gun rights billboard in Dayton raising eyebrows

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RHEA COUNTY, TN (WRCB) -- A new billboard in Rhea County is attracting a lot of attention. It has to do with gun rights and Adolf Hitler.

The billboard eludes to gun registration policies in Germany during the 1930s, saying they sound too familiar to U.S. policies now. Dayton's mayor says he is not entirely comfortable with the sign.

"It's just a little bit over the top as far as I'm concerned," says Dayton Mayor Bob Vincent.

Vincent is talking about a billboard off Highway 27 in the south end of town. It has a quote from Adolf Hitler talking about gun registration, saying it will make the streets safer, police more efficient and the rest of the world will follow lead.

The quote itself has been publicly debated, but the sign reads 'Wake up America. Registration, then confiscation.'

"It doesn't seem to have a slogan to contact your representatives or your senators. It doesn't have slogan or a purpose, except someone's opinion," says Vincent.

The mayor will be the first to admit he governs a conservative area.

"The people I talk to day in and day out are fully in support of the right to bear arms."

And that includes Vincent. He just questions the tastefulness of the sign, which is causing drivers to stop and gawk.

"Sometimes people use scare tactics to start the conversation. I don't know if I would agree with it, but it is certainly interesting and it was enough for me to stop to pass this along to somebody else," says passerby Nancy Olenchek.

Olenchek was stopping to take pictures to send to her mother in Michigan.

"It's definitely controversial. I think it's freedom of speech. It's just another exercising of another amendment. It's one amendment supporting another amendment," says Olenchek.

We asked for feed back on the Channel 3 Facebook page and got a variety of responses. One person writes "Once again, conservative fear tactics," while another writes "I will offer free space on three billboards if someone wants to do the same."

"I'm not sure that's the image this community wants to portray. But, it's there. It's a free country," says Vincent.

The billboard was paid for by a group called 'Rhea County Constitutional Citizens.' We could not find any contact information for the group but we reached out to the owner of the billboard, and have not heard back.

Vincent says the billboards typically rent for $500 to $600 a month.

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