Over the years, Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose has built a reputation for being confrontational. Whether he’s going off on a fan for a laundry list of reasons are taking on the press (see “Get in the Ring” from Use Your Illusion II) Rose has never been one to shy away from a dust-up. Most recently, GNR filed a federal suit against a Texas-based gun store for “wholesale appropriation” of the band’s name.
GNR Files a Federal Suit
The band is suing a gun store called Texas Guns and Roses for unspecified damages and an order prohibiting the use of the website name according to City News Service. More specifically, Guns N’ Roses is suing the gun store’s parent company, Jersey Village Florist. The band’s lawyers claim that the Texas-based company “selected and adopted defendant’s marks for the purpose of confusing customers into believing that it was connected or associated with, or licensed by GNR.”
Further, Guns N’ Roses’ legal team alleges that the store claims to sell roses and other flowers as a way to justify the “wholesale appropriation” of the band’s trademark. They went on to allege that the online gun shop does not sell roses on the site. Instead, it sells guns, ammunition, firearm accessories, knives, and other related items.
“This is particularly damaging to GNR given the nature of the defendant’s business,” the lawsuit states. “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. citizens.”
Guns N’ Roses first discovered the website in October of 2019. Months later, the band’s legal team sent a cease-and-desist letter telling Jersey Village Florist to voluntarily cancel registration of the name. However, that letter went unheeded. Now, the band is taking their complaint to federal court, but they won’t be doing so unopposed.
A Response to Guns N’ Roses’ Lawsuit
David L. Clark, a Houston-based lawyer representing the company against Guns N’ Roses says that he has not yet seen the complaint. However, he opined that GNR’s lawyers opted to file suit in federal court because an attempt to persuade the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board to cancel the store’s registration is likely to fail.
“There’s never been any confusion [between the band and the website] and they have no evidence of confusion,” stated Clark. “This is an attempt to run up costs and burn us out,” he added. “Our client sells metal safes for guns and flowers, and has a one-stop website and absolutely no one is confused.”
Clark further asserted that he and his partners don’t plan to let the suit go unopposed. “We will be fighting back.”