Westmoreland, TN – A Tennessee man who refused to remove an vulgar anti-gun control decal from his vehicle said that the officer who charged him violated his right to free speech.
Nicholas Ennis has the large, green sticker affixed to the rear driver’s side window of his pickup, WKRN reported.
The decal features the letters “U” and “C,” flanked by an M-16 on the left and an AK-47 on the right. The words “gun control” appear beneath it.
Ennis denied that the decal depicts profanity, WKRN reported.
“I mean…not to me…looking at it, no. You wouldn’t be able to tell,” he told the news outlet. “It was made that way so it wouldn’t be vulgar, so I wouldn’t get in trouble for it, but they’re saying it is.”
Ennis said that the sticker has been on his vehicle for a year, and that he knows another resident who has two of the same stickers on his own vehicle.
But according to the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office, the decal does depict a vulgar word, and was grounds for a citation, WKRN reported.
Ennis was recently ticketed for obscene or patently offensive bumper stickers or window signs – a charge that carries a potential $50 fine.
“He said the reason I pulled you over was because of my sticker on my truck being potentially obscene,” Ennis recounted to KTUL.
“Why is it, I’ve had it on there, [and] no other officer has said anything but him?” he asked WKRN. “I feel like I was singled out and it’s going against my First Amendment right for freedom of speech.”
“We should have the right to express our opinions… and they’re trying to take it away, the constitutional right, they’re trying to take all that away from us, like America ain’t free no more,” he railed to KTUL.
Ennis argued that the sticker is meant to represent his beliefs.
“I don’t believe in gun control,” he told WKRN. “Everybody should have the right to bear arms.”
His friend, Sam Monaghan, said he has the same decal displayed on his vehicle.
“Everybody has their right to express their opinion on whatever they want to,” Monaghan told KTUL. “People express their opinion about not having guns. Well, I want guns, and I want more of them, and I will get more of them, and I’ll get them legally.”
Ennis said he will be meeting with a lawyer and that he plans to fight the citation.