Tags: Gun Rights | arkansas | guns | gun range | Jan Morgan | muslims | ban

Arkansas Gun Range May Be in Legal Crosshairs for Muslim Ban

By    |   Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 08:16 AM

Since owner Jan Morgan declared that no Muslim would be welcome at her Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, Arkansas, no one has yet legally challenged the policy, Fox News reported.

The ban has been in effect since September.

The decision was prompted after two customers with Allahu akbar (God is great) cellphone ring tones drew her attention, she said.

"They spoke very little English, one did not have proof of U.S. citizenship, yet they wanted to rent and shoot," Morgan said. "They were constantly glancing toward the cameras in the range, then looking at each other and speaking in their own language.

"Their behavior was so strange, it frightened my patrons. No one would enter the range to shoot while they were there. Some of my customers left."

She added, "I lost business and the people who remained at my facility said they did so out of fear for my safety," according to the Daily Mail.

"We are dealing in lethal firearms," Morgan said. "I'm not going to let a Nazi shoot in here, or a Ku Klux Klan member in here, either," Fox News reported.

The "no Muslims" policy has drawn opposition from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which appealed to the Justice Department to intervene.

The Arkansas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union also said it was prepared to file suit on behalf of anyone who had been turned away by the club because they are Muslim or assumed to be Muslim.

"It's discrimination based on religion, or, in this case, perceived religion and is a violation of the 1964 Civil Rights Act," said the ACLU's Rita Sklar, Fox News reported.

A man who identified himself as Hindu but asked to remain anonymous tweeted that he and his father were mistaken for Muslims and turned away by the range this month, Fox News reported.

Legal experts say that only a private club not normally open to the public could withstand a legal challenge to the policy. If sued, Morgan might need to establish that she does benefit from interstate commerce and that her range was not a place of public accommodation.

"A gun range that is generally open to the public but excludes Muslims, or any other group based on a forbidden classification, could not fairly say that everyone is a member except Muslims," Cornell University Law School Professor Michael Dorf told Fox News.

Morgan dismissed comparisons between her club and a store that will not serve gay couples. "One mistake can cost another human being's life," Morgan said. "There's no room for mistakes when you're handling firearms. We aren't just refusing to make a wedding cake here."

Business has boomed since the discriminatory policy was announced, Morgan told Fox News, with offers of donations should she need to go to court.

As for concerns about her own safety, Morgan told Fox News she had none. She even posted her home address on the Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range website under a picture showing her armed.

An accompanying warning read: "I am the infidel your imam warned you about."

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Since owner Jan Morgan declared that no Muslim would be welcome at her Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, Arkansas, no one has yet legally challenged the policy, but that might change — the Council on American-Islamic Relations has appealed to the Justice Department to intervene.
arkansas, guns, gun range, Jan Morgan, muslims, ban
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2015-16-29
Thursday, 29 Jan 2015 08:16 AM
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