Pistols N’ Petals. Firearms N’ Flowers. Weapons N’ Water Lilies. Guns N’ Roses are sending an online firearms store on the search for a new name. On behalf of the band, Axl Rose has filed a lawsuit against Texas Guns and Roses, which claims the shop’s name intentionally aims to confuse customers into believing it was created in association with, or at least with the permission of, the rock band.
“This is particularly damaging to GNR given the nature of Defendant’s business,” the lawsuit reads, via USA Today. “GNR, quite reasonably, does not want to be associated with Defendant, a firearms and weapons retailer. Furthermore, Defendant espouses political views related to the regulation and control of firearms and weapons on the Website that may be polarizing to many U.S. consumers.”
Back in 2016, Guns N’ Roses bassist Duff McKagan penned a column for Vice calling for stricter background checks on online gun purchases in the United States. “Background checks for all gun sales? Hell yes, right? What’s the argument against that? Banning AK-47’s and the like? Probably a damn good idea, right? Who needs them?” he wrote. “I’m just a regular guy, neither ‘pro’ nor ‘anti’ gun… and I understand and respect the right to bear arms, but do some of you actually think we maintain this right still for the sole purpose of the ‘in case’ of our own government somehow taking over?”
The Jersey Village Florist-operated weapons shop registered the Texas Guns and Roses trademark in 2016, having initially filed in 2014. The online store has four variations of rose bouquets listed on its website alongside handguns, semi-automatic weapons, and more. The lawsuit states that the “defendant purports to sell roses and other flowers” in an effort to validate its storefront name, though it hasn’t been officially registered as a flower shop.
Rose and Tracii Guns, who co-founded that band and maintains an eponymous connection to the band’s name, reportedly discovered the shop’s existence in October 2019 and issued a cease and desist in February 2020. No response was received, leading to the filing of a petition with the U.S. Patent and Trade Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the Texas Guns and Roses trademark registration.
The company, which claims to be “America’s largest online firearms and accessories mall,” has 18 days to file a response to the complaint, which also requests compensation for damages, attorney’s fees, and lawsuit costs.
“There’s never been any confusion and they have no evidence of confusion. This is an attempt to run up costs and burn us out,” defense attorney David L. Clark told City News Service. “Our client sells metal safes for guns and flowers, and have a one-stop website and absolutely no one is confused. Nobody thinks we’re the band or there is some affiliation. We will be fighting back.”