Group sues Florida gun store for anti-Muslim policy

A Muslim civil rights group filed suit against a Florida gun store for discrimination after the store’s owner declared the shop a Muslim-free zone.

“The people that (Council on American-Islamic Relations) represents include Muslims that have a right to purchase guns, browse guns, take classes on gun safety, shoot guns at the range, and visit the gun range for entertainment purposes and not be discriminated against,” says the lawsuit filed by CAIR-FL in a Florida federal court on July 29.

The lawsuit targets Florida Gun Supply whose owner, Andrew Hallinan, posted a dramatic video in response to the mass shooting at a military recruitment center in Tennessee by a home-grown Islamic extremist in mid-July.

Before filing suit, CAIR-FL made a public attempt to dispel any prejudices Hallinan had expressed about Muslims, but before had a peace agreement of sorts Hallinan cancelled at the last minute and claimed the group was trying to use him.

“The reason they want to meet with me is they want to put a headline on their website that says ‘Islamophobe gun owner turns polite and sees that Islam is peace,’” Hallinan told local reporters. “There is absolutely no way I am going to help promote them.”

But Hallinan, who describes himself as an “online marketing genius,” said the main reason he would not meet with the group was because they’re a designated terror group by the United Arab Emirates.

The UAE as recently as 2014 named CAIR on a watch list along side other groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Qaeda, and Boko Haraam. However, the UAE offered little to no explanation why more reputable groups made the list, but some argue it has more to do with religious politics than an actual threat of violence.

CAIR is not designated a terror group by the U.S. despite allegations of financial ties to known terror group Hamas, which had too little evidence to support criminal charges.

On the flip side, CAIR has called the U.S. Justice Department to probe Florida Gun Supply over possible federal civil rights violations.

CAIR-FL cited a federal law that bars businesses from discriminating against customers on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin. The group is asking for the store to lift its discriminatory policies, court costs and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.