A Muslim civil rights group is asking the Department of Justice to investigate an Arkansas shooting range whose owner recently declared it a "Muslim-free zone."
In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, Jenifer Wicks, a lawyer for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), writes that the declaration is "a violation of federal laws prohibiting racial and religious discrimination" and "will inevitably result in a hostile environment for ordinary Muslims in Arkansas."
"This is not a coffee and donut shop," Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Shooting Range in Hot Springs, Ark., wrote in an online post last month. "This is a live fire indoor shooting range ... Why would I want to rent or sell a gun and hand ammunition to someone who aligns himself with a religion that commands him to kill me?"
Morgan, who says she has "read and studied" the Koran thoroughly, found "109 verses commanding hate, murder and terror against all human beings who refuse to submit or convert to Islam."
"People who shoot at my range come from all religious backgrounds," she wrote. "I do not care about their religious beliefs until or unless those beliefs command them to commit violent crimes against innocent people and I witness those crimes increasing, as we all have lately."
Morgan claims that when she received her license to sell guns, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives informed her "that if we feel ANY reason for concern about selling someone a firearm, even sense that something is not right about an individual, or if we are concerned about that [person's] mental state, even if they pass a background check, we do not have to sell that person a gun. Two different ATF agents stressed that it is better to err on the side of caution. In other words, a federal agency has given [gun shops] discretion on firearms deals.
"I understand that not all Muslims are terrorists," Morgan continued. "I also believe there are as many Muslims who do not know what is in their Koran as there are Christians who do not know what is in their Bible. Since I have no way of discerning which Muslims will or will not kill in the name of their religion and the commands in their Koran, I choose to err on the side of caution for the safety of my patrons."
In the letter to Holder, Wicks writes that Morgan "appears to be misinterpreting the advice given to her and refusing service to all Muslims, which cannot be a correct interpretation of compliance with federal gun laws and the U.S. Constitution."
But according to Morgan — who says she has received death threats from Muslims in the past — the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks; Boston Marathon bombing; Fort Hood massacre; and a recent beheading at an Oklahoma food distribution center justify her ban.
"This is more than enough loss of life on my home soil at the hands of Muslims to substantiate my position that Muslims can and may follow the directives in their Koran and kill here at home," she wrote.
CAIR sent copies of its letter to the governor of Arkansas, U.S. Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas and the ATF's Little Rock field office.
Morgan responded on her Facebook page: "It’s easy for CAIR to bully and threaten average American citizens like me who have a business to lose and a life to destroy. It's what they do. We are the easy targets. I’ve been a target of Islamist threats for five years ... fully expecting at any time one of them to follow through with the threat. I may go down for speaking the truth about Islam ... I may lose everything I have, (which isn't much) but they can't take my integrity ... This is a mountain I’m willing to die on."