- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oklahoma police are concerned about the public’s safety after an armed man standing guard at a “Muslim-free” gun store in Oktaha accidentally shot himself.

Terrence Veninga, 57, dropped his Colt .45-caliber revolver and shot himself in the wrist Tuesday at Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear. Mr. Veninga was guarding the store because of alleged death threats to the owners since they put up a sign declaring it a “Muslim-free establishment,” muskogeenow.com reported.

“This is a very dangerous situation,” said Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson. “I’m very concerned about the weapons they have and their safety skills with them.

“I saw several of those gentlemen out there yesterday,” Sheriff Pearson told muskogeenow.com. “The way they were holding their weapons, with the fingers on the triggers, you can tell a couple of these gentlemen have no idea about weapons safety. … It’s like the Clampetts have come to town.”

The store’s owners, Chad Neal and Nicole Mayhorn, have said in earlier interviews that Islam is a dangerous religion.

Imam John Ederer of the Islamic Society of Tulsa said he called and left a message at the store Tuesday, offering to sit down with the owners for a peaceful discussion, The Muskogee Phoenix reported.

“I think if we just sat down civilly, we could become friends,” Mr. Ederer said. “It would be a good token of humanity to sit down and talk about these things.”

A statement posted late Tuesday on the store’s Facebook page called the shooting “an unfortunate accident.” The statement claimed the man who shot himself came over to the shop to help fix a door in the office “and, as he bent over, his weapon fell from a malfunctioning chest holster and went off when it hit the floor.”

The store shut down for the rest of the day after the shooting, as Muslim protesters began to arrive to voice their opposition.

“I just wanted to come here and express my disapproval,” said Chris Martin, who drove to Oktaha all the way from Riverside, California, muskogeenow.com reported. “I’m a veteran, I fought for that right.”

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