This story of Walmart censoring a couple's engagement picture because it featured a shotgun might be the most Texas story of all time.
According to Dallas-Fort Worth's WFAA, Stephanie Wehner (an employee at the station) said Walmart poo-pooed her lovely engagement photo with fiancé Mitch Strobl simply because he was holding a shotgun. Wait—what?
Since we know that sentence was the equivalent of a loud record scratch in your head, yes they made a shotgun part of their engagement photo.
"It depicts our love for each other, and I wanted to be able to display those at the reception," Wehner said. Her fiancé Stobl said she came up with the idea to so they could "include something that is important to us." Which is obviously their shotgun. OK, so that's weird but I'm sure we could say that about a lot of shit people choose do in their engagement photos. Let he who is without a bizarre engagement photo idea cast the first stone.
Honestly, as a proud Texas resident this doesn't surprise me at all. I once went to a wedding in East Texas where the bride rode in on the back of a pick-up truck, firing a shotgun into the air. At the end of the ceremony, my uncle called the whole affair "hoity-toity bullshit" and grumbled that the bride "acts like she thinks she's Princess Grace or something." So a shotgun in some engagement photos is really nothing to write home about. Whatever. Enjoy all the jokes from relatives about your "shotgun" wedding. Let's try and move on from that to get to the rest of this story:
With their wedding scheduled for this weekend, she had to just tie up some loose ends — like printing out those photos. She ordered printouts online at Walmart. Wehner submitted 13 photos with varying poses, lighting, and background.
One of the 13 photographs submitted included Mitch's 12 gauge Ruger Red Label Shotgun. He said it was the first gun that he had purchased himself, calling it his "go-to" gun for outdoor sport.
When Wehner arrived at the Walmart at Central Expressway and Midpark Road to pick up the prints, she was told the photo with the firearm would not be released.
A note from the clerk in the photo pack she got read: "MINUS ONE 5 X 7. NO WEAPONS." The clerk said it was store policy—they don't print photos of guns. "She was very nice, but very matter-of-fact, like she was not going to budge or give me my photo," Wehner told WFAA.
But it's the explanation that caught the couple off-guard. Wehner told News 8 that the clerk said the photo couldn't be released because the weapon would promote a "gang culture."
"To automatically to be lumped into that category of a gang... that hits a little close to home for us, because that isn't our intent at all," Strobl said.
If you think it sounds totally batshit crazy to have a policy against printing pictures of guns at a store that sells ACTUAL FUCKING GUNS, you're absolutely correct. A Walmart spokesperson denied the store has any such policy:
A Walmart representative later told News 8 the chain has no policy against printing out pictures with firearms.
"We had a new associate who was misinformed. Her actions are not consistent with our policy," the spokesperson said. Walmart also told us that it has reiterated policies with its employees at this store.
Plus, banning photos of guns IN TEXAS just sounds like a terrible move, business wise. Pictures of people with their guns probably accounts for about 90 percent of the photography in this state.
Image via WFAA.