A federal discrimination lawsuit filed by a Muslim activist group against a Florida gun retailer owner who declared his shop a “Muslim-Free Zone” has been dismissed.
U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom ruled that Florida Gun Supply owner Andy Hallinan’s sign was protected by the First Amendment, and the activists couldn’t prove they were injured by the action, a local NBC affiliate reported.
The plaintiff, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Florida, has 30 days to appeal the decision.
Mr. Hallinan made headlines earlier this year when he declared his Inverness store a “Muslim-free zone” in the wake of the shooting of four servicemen outside a recruiting office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, by an Islamic extremist.
CAIR announced the lawsuit against the gun store in July, saying the Muslim-free zone amounted to religious discrimination, violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The suit had demanded an injunction against Florida Gun Supply to prohibit it from discriminating against Muslims and others on the basis of religion.
“American Muslims have a right to browse and purchase guns, take classes on gun safety and shoot guns at a range without having to be profiled and discriminated,” Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of CAIR Florida, said at the time the suit was filed, NBC reported.
“Such discrimination is not only illegal, it is bad for our country and makes us less safe and less free,” Mr. Shibly said. The organization said the policy is a violation of federal law.
Shortly after the court’s decision to drop the case, Mr. Hallinan posted a video to Facebook celebrating the victory and said he will give out bumper stickers for customers to turn their vehicles into Muslim-free zones. He is also selling “jihadist targets” for shooting practice.