A CONTROVERSIAL sign advertising guns for sale has sparked outrage among residents.
The illuminated sign, which reads Guns bought and sold, was erected outside the A and A Arms store in Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, a week ago.
Staff at the shop, which also sells tools, told the Observer they had been legally selling air-rifles and deactivated firearms for several years without any problems.
But residents fear promoting weapons in this way could lead to an increase in gun-related crime and send out an "inappropriate" message.
Carole Bennett, of Laburnum Drive, said a lot of people had been complaining.
She added: "I don't think this is appropriate - it's the kind of thing you would expect to see in America."
"Even an air-rifle can be dangerous and people are worried that it could bring all sorts of unsavoury people into the town."
Resident Stuart Hartley added: "The sign is in a very prominent position and it is a blight on our community."
"There is a gun culture developing in Hyndburn - we keep hearing about young men with air-rifles shooting cats and wildlife. So what kind of message is this sending out? It's totally unacceptable."
Inspector Julian Platt, of Accrington Police, said he was satisfied the shop was within the law, adding: "We have established no offences are being committed but we have told the owners of our concerns."
"The shop is fully aware of legal restrictions on the sale of these items and we will be acting in a monitoring capacity to make sure they don't go beyond the area of the law."
A spokesman for A and A Arms said the sign was simply advertising the business.
He added: "We have been selling guns for years and we know what we are doing - we're not here to upset people."
Air-rifles and deactivated firearms can be sold to people over the age of 17 without a licence. People aged between 14 and 17 can have an air-rifle bought for them by an adult.