When a couple from Dallas excitedly went to Walmart a few days before their wedding so they could pick up 13 of their engagement photos, they got the shock of their lives: a clerk at the megastore handed them 12 prints and a note that reportedly read, “MINUS ONE 5×7. NO WEAPONS.”
This is the point where it’s necessary to add: Notorious Photo #13 featured lovebirds Stephanie Wehner and Mitch Strobl posing with their beloved 12-gauge Ruger Red Label over-and-under shotgun.
I should also note that Walmart sells Ruger rifles at its store — in addition to other weapons.
Still, that fact was not good enough for the clerk at the Central Expressway and Midpark Road store, who nicely explained to the couple that their photo went against “store policy” because it promoted “gang culture.”
We can understand why Wehner and Strobl, who are set to marry this weekend, might not take that statement too kindly: Strobl actually makes a living creating manuals for hunter safety and outdoor recreation and hunting is a huge part of both of their lives.
Strobl explained that he made sure the action was open so that theirs was a “safe photograph.”
Not wishing to turn this into a debate about the Second Amendment, Wehner and Strobl say this is really about their First Amendment right to express themselves through photography. They were hoping to display all of their photos at their wedding reception and are trying to find a different place that will process their photo in time.
A Walmart representative, meanwhile, is hoping to set the record straight and confirmed that the company absolutely has no problem processing photos that feature firearms.
“We had a new associate who was misinformed,” a Walmart spokesperson said. “Her actions are not consistent with our policy.”
Here is the photo in question: