CAIR Files Discrimination Suit Against Florida Gun Store

A lawsuit has already been filed against the owner of a gun store in Florida who made a video declaring that he would not allow Muslims to buy guns at his store. The suit was filed by the local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations and it seems like an open and shut case.

A Florida gun store that proclaimed itself a Muslim-free zone was sued on Wednesday in federal court by the state chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations on the grounds that the restriction is discriminatory.

The lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Fort Lauderdale accuses Florida Gun Supply of Inverness of violating the federal public accommodations law and seeks an injunction to stop the discrimination, according to the complaint.

“We just can’t let segregation rear its ugly head in Florida again. This is part of Islamophobia that we need to challenge,” said Hassan Shibly, chief executive director of the civil rights group.

Andrew Hallinan, the gun shop’s 28-year-old owner, referred calls for comment to his lawyer, Robert Muise of the American Freedom Law Center. The law firm aggressively seeks to advance and defend the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, according to its website.

If the name Robert Muise sounds familiar to you, he used to work for the Thomas More Law Center before he left to start his own shop doing shitty legal work. He was one of the attorneys in the Dover trial that got beaten so badly their mamas did’t recognize them afterward. I’m sure he’ll bring that same brilliant legal work to this case.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • StevoR

    For a certain value of “brilliant” no doubt!

  • llewelly

    “More” => “Moore”

    thanks, autoincorrect.

  • StevoR

    The law firm aggressively seeks to advance and defend the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, according to its website.

    We-eell I guess that’s one way to reduce your workload and make sure you do’t get overwhelmed with too many customers. Especially customers who you are biased against anyhow.

    Wonder how that’s working for them ..

  • Saad

    Judeo-Christian heritage and Southern heritage are the new ethics in video games journalism.

  • Drew

    Correct me if I’m wrong but until he actually denies someone service they don’t have standing to sue him, no?

    I mean they have no actual injury under the Civil Rights Act unless and until they are actually denied accommodation.

    I think I’m missing something here.

  • John Hinkle

    Ka-ching! Gun sales should sky-rocket now.

  • John Pieret

    until he actually denies someone service they don’t have standing to sue him, no?

    There is some question as to that but, generally speaking, yes, there should to be an actual denial of service before there can be a successful Title VII suit by an individual.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    If the name Robert Muise sounds familiar to you, he used to work for the Thomas More Law Center before he left to start his own shop doing shitty legal work.

    I bet Charles Carreon is looking for work!

  • eric

    The law firm aggressively seeks to advance and defend the country’s Judeo-Christian heritage, according to its website.

    Exactly what bit of Judeo-Christian heritage is being threatened? I don’t recall any bible verses saying don’t sell guns to nonbelievers. Although maybe that was in the Book of Armaments. I never could get through that one.

  • http://drx.typepad.com Dr X

    @John Pieret:

    There is some question as to that but, generally speaking, yes, there should to be an actual denial of service before

    When I heard about the suit, I had the same question about standing. So generally a denial of service would be required, but if there is an exception, what might that be?

  • John Pieret

    Dr X:

    if there is an exception, what might that be?

    It is rather esoteric and involves a kind of “vicarious discrimination” where, say, a white person observes discrimination against black people has a right to sue under Title VII.

    You can read about it here (1st 19 pages):

    http://www.dartmouthlawjournal.org/archives/Dartmouth%20Law%20Journal%20Vol.11.1%20Spring%202013.pdf

  • DaveL

    @11, Title VII deals with discrimination in employment, you want Title II, Public Accommodations.

    I’m not a lawyer, but here’s what I see looking down the rabbit hole:

    42 USC 2000a-3(a) provides:

    Whenever any person has engaged or there are reasonable grounds to believe that any person is about to engage in any act or practice prohibited by section 2000a–2 of this title, a civil action for preventive relief, including an application for a permanent or temporary injunction, restraining order, or other order, may be instituted by the person aggrieved

    Emphasis mine. Actual denial of service apparently need not have occurred.

    However, I still think they have a tough row to hoe trying to classify the defendant as a “Place of Public Accommodation” under Title II. Having read the complaint, they seem to be proceeding under the theory that displaying wares for sale makes any retail store a “place of exhibition or entertainment” presenting an “exhibition or other source of entertainment” (guns, in this case) which have moved in interstate commerce. If the court accepted this reasoning, it would be a landmark extension of existing law, which does not consider retail stores in general to be places of public accommodation.

    The usual workaround for this is to bring a claim under Section 1981, protecting the ability to enter into contracts. The way it normally works is, a person of color enters a store, is denied service, then sues under Section 1981, claiming their right to enter into contracts was impaired by reason of their race. There are a few issues with that here:

    -The plaintiff didn’t include such a claim in the complaint;

    -If they had, it wouldn’t be ripe since nobody has yet been actually denied service;

    -It deals with discrimination on the basis of race or ethnicity, not religion per se. This is not necessarily an insuperable obstacle, when we consider the nuts and bolts of how the owner intends to actually enforce the ban in practice. If he just starts refusing service to brown people, there’s your claim.

    I still think the best strategy would be to sue under Florida law, which lacks the “interstate commerce” requirement.

  • k_machine

    Gun control is unthinkable in America, right up until the second it’s brown people shooting up the place. “The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed” as the NRA puts it.

  • D. C. Sessions

    k_machine, it’s all quite consistent once you realize that “brown people” are not covered under the “people” in the Second. In fact, they’re the reason that the Real People® need guns in the first place.

  • John Pieret

    DaveL:

    You’re quite right, I was being sloppy.

    The phrase “there are reasonable grounds to believe that any person is about to engage in any act or practice prohibited” probably requires more than just saying you won’t serve some class of people but needs something along the lines of Lester Maddox standing in his diner door with an axe handle.