Anyone driving toward the Las Vegas Strip on Thursday morning might have been surprised to look up and see a billboard that reads, “Shoot a school kid only $29.”
The billboard was an altered ad for a nearby shooting range, Battlefield Vegas, that originally had said “Shoot a .50 caliber only $29.” The website for the veteran-operated shooting range touts the place as the “#1 new interactive entertainment attraction to hit Las Vegas.”
The billboard company told CNN it "immediately removed the billboard at the request of the authorities, and we're cooperating with law enforcement agencies as they investigate further."
A guerrilla artist collective called Indecline claimed responsibility for altering the ad. The group says it focuses on “social, ecological, and economic injustices carried out by American and International governments, corporations, and law enforcement agencies.”
The group was challenging “inadequate gun laws that are currently placing value on assault weapons over that of human life” and were motivated by the recent shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, a spokesperson for Indecline told the Associated Press.
The group also provided video to KTNV-TV that showed two people wearing dark clothes climbing up a ladder and pasting strips onto the billboard that read “school kid” and then the words “Defend Lives Reform Laws” at the bottom right.
INDECLINE was founded in 2001 by a group of recently graduated high school kids who enjoyed defacing and altering billboards. Since then, their numbers have grown to more than 25 permanent staff, with about a hundred additional artists who contribute work. The group made headlines in 2016 for erecting naked statues of then-candidate Donald Trump during the election in five major cities.
The group’s other projects include painting over the names of celebrities on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame with the names of black men and women killed by police and painting a “Rape Trump” mural on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Cover image: A vandalized billboard near Interstate 15 in Las Vegas. The advertisement inviting tourists to fire an assault-style rifle, which originally said "Shoot a .50 caliber only $29," was changed to say, "Shoot A School Kid Only $29." (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal via AP)