The recent publicity surrounding a contentious ad for a gun store in western Pennsylvania may land the owner in legal trouble for discrimination against Muslims.
The sign in the window of Altra Firearms in Jackson Center reads, “Please NO Muslims or Hillary Supporters – We do not feel safe selling to terrorists!”
PA gun store ad: "please no Muslims or Hillary supporters. We do not feel safe selling to terrorists" pic.twitter.com/yPqAsd5MsO— Dorey Scheimer (@DoreyScheimer) October 27, 2016
According to an exclusive interview with ThinkProgress, shop owner Paul Chandler justified his ad’s claims to refuse service to those who are Muslim. Chandler has been openly refusing business to Muslims and President Barack Obama supporters for the last eight years. Now, he’s turned his sights onto Hillary Clinton, but the Islamophobic sentiment remains.
He reportedly said, “[Muslims] want to destroy America, they want to destroy the American way of life… We’re putting more and more Muslims, the religion that has declared war against us, here, and I don’t feel safe arming them.” For the record, Chandler doesn’t think that background checks are necessary before a person purchases a firearm.
Chandler’s allegedly deleted his business’s Facebook page in light of the published interview, but there are still a few troublesome photos lingering online which appear to be from his page.
At least one local newspaper is taking a stand against Chandler’s openly discriminatory policy by not publishing the ad. However, it appears to be business as usual for other papers which carry on printing it.
Whether or not Chandler or his business will face any sort of legal action is yet to be determined. In a similar scenario from last year, The Huffington Post reported a Florida court ruled that a gun store could continue to refuse service to Muslims after being sued by a civil rights group. If this case offers any indication, it's unlikely he will face civil rights charges.
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations has not offered any comment on this outlandish display of hatred, nor has the National Rifle Association.
Regardless, Altra Firearms’ open bias against Muslims based on a misconception of the faith is disturbing to say the least.
Photo credit: Reuters