Florida Gun Supply owner Andy Hallinan will not be facing charges over the “Muslim Free Zone” sign placed on the door of his gun shop. A federal judge threw out the lawsuit filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Muslim advocacy group.
— Arafat Ali (@ArafatAliDhaka) December 1, 2015
A Florida judge threw out the Muslim-free zone lawsuit because she ruled that she did not have the authority to make a decision in the case, according to a Tampa Bay Times report. U.S. District Court Judge Beth Bloom said the policy at the Florida Gun Supply store “did not present an imminent and concrete threat to Muslim people.”
Andy Hallinan made national headlines this past summer when he posted the Muslim free zone sign on the door of his Florida gun store and posted a video to YouTube detailing why the decision to create the sign was made.
In July, the Council on American-Islamic Relations filed the lawsuit based upon arguments that Hallinan had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and was engaged in religious discrimination.
“The only reason they filed this was to keep money coming from their supporters and to keep their group in the headlines,” Andy Hallinan told the Washington Post. “It backfired and they look like idiots now.”
Florida Gun Supply… i'm a bit to far away to to show my patronage as a customer… but you have my… https://t.co/tevSazjCBA
— Chip Breslin (@chipbreslin) November 29, 2015
CAIR Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Clevenger said the legal wrangling over the Florida Gun Supply Muslim free zone sign is far from over. The group has up to 30 days to file a motion of appeal in the case. Clevenger likened the sign created by Andy Hallinan to Jim Crow laws and the posting of “whites only” signs on businesses and public restrooms and water fountains in the South.
“The bottom line is we actually find the opinion from the judge to be in our favor,” Clevenger said. “We’ll be filing an appeal or other type of motion to have the case reconsidered. It’s very early on in the proceedings.”
The 28-year-old Florida Gun Supply owner announced that his business was a Muslim free zone in a YouTube video that quickly went viral. Hallinan said that his decision to post the sign was inspired by the Chattanooga shootings, adding that he refused to train or arm anyone who wanted to harm “fellow patriots,” MSN reports.
Hallinan said that he would sell weapons to Islam followers who did not subscribe to a literal Koran interpretation.
“We get to know each and every one of our customers. If the hair on the back of our neck raises for any person — regardless of their race or religion or anything else — we will not sell to them. If I came to believe this person didn’t believe in a literal interpretation of the Koran, then they would, in theory, be able to purchase a gun.”
After the Florida judge threw out the Muslim free zone sign lawsuit, Hallinan posted a new video about the matter on his store’s Facebook page. Andy referred to CAIR members behind the lawsuit as “terrorist” and said that justice has has been served in the case.
“We’re not selling Barbie dolls here, we’re selling firearms and we need to make sure we’re putting guns in people’s hands that are going to do good things in the community with them — like keeping peace, not blowing people up,” the Florida gun shop owner said in the new video.
CAIR Florida Chief Executive Director Hassan Shibly said the sign on the gun store only served to increase tension in the state and did nothing to resolve existing conflicts.
“Such discrimination is not only illegal, it is bad for our country and makes us less safe and less free,” Shibly added.
What do you think about the Florida Gun Supply Muslim free zone sign and the lawsuit dismissal decision by the judge?
[Image via video screengrab/Twitter]