LOS LUNAS, N.M. (KRQE) -
There's a dangerous new development in the coyote killing contest that has stirred up so much controversy.
The owners of Gunhawk Firearms, the gun shop behind the coyote kill, are getting death threats, and the FBI is now looking into them.
An online petition has nearly 29,000 signatures opposing the hunt. Meanwhile the owners at the Los Lunas shop say not only have people threatened their lives, but they're also targeting their families.
Mark Chavez, the owner, pulled out three threatening letters from a bag he'll hand over to police. It's only Wednesday, and he expects the menacing mail to continue.
"Ridiculous. That's the best way to describe it," said employee Josh Waters.
The store has been pounded by protests after announcing it would hold a controversial coyote-killing contest. An Albuquerque gun store had proposed a similar contest but canceled.
Calibers came up with the idea with the hunter who brings back the most carcasses winning an expensive assault weapon. Calibers billed it as a way to help farmers and ranchers losing livestock and having other problems with coyotes, which are not a protected species and can be hunted without a license.
Critics called it an unnecessary slaughter, and Calibers backed out.
Gunhawk's took over and things have reached a whole new level.
"Threatening us with explosives, burning down the shop, Molotov cocktails, and following you home to pick you off one by one," Waters said about the most recent threats.