A Florida judge has dismissed a lawsuit against Florida Gun Supply, a gun store whose owner has declared the store a “Muslim-Free Zone,” WFLA (Tampa) is reporting.
In July of this year, Florida Gun Supply owner Andy Hallinan sparked controversy when he put up signs on his Inverness store (about 75 miles north of Tampa) declaring the store a “Muslim-Free Zone.” At the time, Hallinan told WKMG (Orlando) that he was motivated to declare his store a Muslim-Free Zone after Muslim terrorist Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez shot and killed five people in a series of shootings at Chattanooga military installations.
“I will not arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots.”
Florida Gun Supply: Muslim-Free Zone 🚫 “Battle for our homeland, security & way of life” http://t.co/eQpiIbr0UG pic.twitter.com/AJ4eS5SiCE
— Infowars_Sniper (@Infowars_Sniper) July 23, 2015
Hallinan did offer something of an olive branch toward Muslims who might want to patronize his store: he said at the time that he would be willing to allow a Muslim in if they swore off jihad.
“If they come in here and they say, ‘Hey, I don’t believe in jihad. And I don’t believe that killing some innocent people in the name of religion is the right thing to do,’ then they’re as American as you or I.”
The Muslim-Free Zone concept didn’t sit well with Florida Muslims; Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) representative Hassan Shibly spoke up on behalf of Muslims, saying that Hallinan’s view that Muslims represent a threat to him are wrong.
“I invite Andy, the gun shop owner, to break bread with us, to get to know us as his fellow Americans, as neighbors. We might be his doctor, his police officer, his firefighter. That’s what the American-Muslim community is, and I think he should get to know us and not let fear and hatred divide us as Americans.”
Rather than try to talk things out with Andy, however, CAIR filed suit, saying that the concept of a Muslim-Free Zone violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on religion.
“American Muslims have a right to browse and purchase guns, take classes on gun safety and shoot guns at a range without having to be profiled and discriminated.”
However, United States District Court judge Beth Bloom didn’t see it that way. In her ruling, announced this week, Bloom said that CAIR did not prove that any particular Muslims were harmed by the store’s policies, and dismissed the suit entirely.
Hallinan is taking his court victory in stride through an obscenity-laden YouTube video which you can watch below, Andy tells CAIR that “freedom of speech prevails.”
“This is America, and I have a right to sell guns to whomever I please… We need to make sure that we’re putting guns in peoples’ hands that are gonna do good things in the community with them. Like keeping peace, not blowing other people up.”
Florida Gun Supply’s legal victory comes at a time when relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States are seemingly strained. Since the ISIS-led terrorist attacks on November 13 in Paris that killed 130 people and injured over 300, concerns have been raised about the possibility of terrorism on U.S. soil. As of this writing, the governors of at least 26 states have stated that they will refuse to accept Syrian refugees in their states, in defiance of an Obama administration plan to resettle 10,000 refugees in the U.S. The Obama administration has declared the states’ refusal illegal, according to The Christian Post.
Do you believe that Florida Gun Supply should be allowed to operate as a Muslim-Free Zone? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
[Image via YouTube]