“Business is booming,” says Arizona gun shop owner Cope Reynolds, a week after gaining national attention for banning supporters of President Barack Obama from his premises.
Following Obama’s re-election, Reynolds bought a full page ad in a local paper reading, “If you voted for Barack Obama, your business is not welcome at Southwest Shooting Authority. You have proven you’re not responsible enough to own a firearm.”
Since publishing the ad, Reynolds has received hundreds of emails and calls from supporters, not to mention the news media.
“I’ve been busier than a cat covering up poop on a marble floor,” said Reynolds about his store traffic.
In an interview with The Arizona Republic, a laughing Reynolds said, “People are saying that I've alienated half of our customers . . . No, I haven't. I haven't alienated any of my customers, because the people who voted for Obama don't buy guns here. They don't come here at all. I haven't alienated. I've improved things. I have packages sitting on my desk to be shipped to places like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Idaho, Nevada and California.”
Reynolds added the reason for the ban and subsequent print ad was “strictly a political statement,” though he acknowledged it proved highly effective from a marketing point of view.
Not all the reactions to the ban have been positive. Some Southwest Shooting Authority employees, including his 17-year-old son, have received disparaging phone calls from Obama supporters, said Reynolds.
How does Reynolds enforce his ban on Obama supporters? “It would be impossible to enforce. If they don’t say anything, we’ll never know,” he told the Phoenix New Times. “However, if they own up to it, we will not serve them.”
So, who did Reynolds support in the presidential election? Saying he “wasn't too impressed” by Mitt Romney, the outspoken business owner said he supported Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson, with U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, as his second choice.
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