Civil rights advocates drop lawsuit against Oklahoma’s ‘Muslim-free’ gun range

Religion News Service | 4/24/2019 | Staff
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(RNS) — Civil rights organizations have dropped a federal lawsuit against the owners of an Oklahoma gun range after it removed a sign declaring the business a “Muslim-free establishment.”

The owners of the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gun Range in Oktaha, Okla., removed the sign in December, nearly three years after the American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Oklahoma and the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Oklahoma branch filed a lawsuit alleging violation of federal public accommodations law.

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The civil rights advocates filed to dismiss the lawsuit Tuesday (April 23), saying that the gun range owners have affirmed that they will not exclude Muslim customers and that they do not intend to repost the sign.

“We are pleased that the defendants in this case decided to take down their anti-Muslim sign, and that they affirmed their commitment to complying with the law,” said Heather Weaver, senior staff attorney for the Project on Freedom of Religion and Belief at the ACLU, in a statement. “No customer should be excluded from a business based solely on their faith.”

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Instead, after last month’s New Zealand mosque massacre, the owners have put up a sign saying the gun range is a “terrorist-free” zone. The new sign includes a long list of groups it says will be excluded, including members of CAIR and the Islamic Society of North America.

The gun range’s lawyers are claiming the case’s dismissal as a win as well.

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Robert Muise, an attorney with the American Freedom Law Center, which defended the gun range, said the dismissal of the “fabricated nonsense case” was a “big victory” for the gun range’s management.

“This is a dangerous lawsuit set up to send an armed individual into a gun range and create a controversy over the sign,” Muise said.

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He told Religion News Service that the gun range’s policy – which...
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