SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - It wasn't something Salisbury Mayor Al Heggins expected to see when she went for dinner on Friday night; the big sign advertising a gun show at the West End Plaza.
"It's the irony of a local gun show in the midst of our high school students being mortally frightened to go to school and being on lockdown," Mayor Heggins said.
Both Salisbury High School and A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis were placed on lockdown on Friday because of threats of gun violence.
Salisbury High was on lockdown for a second straight day due to threats that had been posted on social media. Many students stayed home, others left early.
Police in Salisbury, as well as in Kannapolis, Concord, Statesville, and other cities across the country have been dealing with such threats ever since the school shooting in Florida.
Mayor Heggins said that while out of town on Thursday and Friday attending an essentials of municipal government training session in Asheville, she and other council members received constant updates about the lockdown at SHS, and was very concerned about what was happening.
"I would be devastated if anything happened to our children here," Heggins added. "I'm certainly in favor of Second Amendment rights, but we have to be cognizant of the fact of what's happening in our country. As a community, speaking out for the safety of our children and reform, gun reform."
Mayor Heggins is a veteran with 19 years of military service as an Army officer in the Adjutant's General Corps and Military Intelligence. She says that helps her shape her perspective on what kind of reform is needed.
"We don't need to have access to guns meant to fight wars," Heggins added. "We need to get guns of mass destruction out of our hands and off the streets, period."