HOT SPRINGS, AR – On Facebook, the owner of “The Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range” tells her followers, “I will never compromise my position. By the way… business is exploding here. Best decision I ever made.”
Jan Morgan told us it wasn’t a business decision.
Off Blacksnake Road in Hot Springs, “The Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range” welcomes anyone except Muslims.
Morgan, the owner, says she made the decision in the name of safety.
In an article on her website, she explains why she wants her range to be a Muslim-free zone.
She states the Koran contains 109 verses commanding hate, murder and terror, and claims threats on her life have been made by Muslims.
Hundreds of fans support her.
But not everyone feels the same.
“My dad and I, we like to shoot guns sometimes,” explained one of the latest people claiming to be removed from the gun range.
This man wants to remain anonymous for his safety. He says he and his father, both of Indian descent, were turned away from the Muslim-free zone.
He explained, “She just said ‘you know, I don’t think you guys belong here’.”
He says when he and his dad walked into the range Sunday afternoon (1/11), they were immediately asked where they were from.
The pair are from Hot Springs. They say the owner pressed the issue.
“She mentions that this is a Muslim-free gun range and if you are then please leave.”
He says they told her they’re Hindu but were still not allowed.
After the incident he took to Twitter and posted “My dad and I just got kicked out of a Muslim-free gun range. I’m not Muslim, I’m just brown.”
“She threatened to call the police on us if we didn’t leave.”
Over the phone Tuesday (1/13), Jan Morgan told us she never asks if someone is a Muslim or where they’re from.
She says she makes the decision based on people’s behavior and whether she feels safety would be compromised. She says the two people we inquired about were asked to leave because of safety concerns, not because of race or religion.
Either way, legal professionals say Morgan may be allowed to discriminate because she acts as a “private club”.
According to 42 United States Code Annotated § 2000a
“Prohibition against discrimination or segregation in places of public accommodation
(a) Equal access
All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.
(b) Establishments affecting interstate commerce or supported in their activities by State action as places of public accommodation; lodgings; facilities principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises; gasoline stations; places of exhibition or entertainment; other covered establishments
Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this subchapter if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:
(1) any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, other than an establishment located within a building which contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as his residence;
(2) any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the premises of any retail establishment; or any gasoline station;
(3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment; and
(4) any establishment (A)(i) which is physically located within the premises of any establishment otherwise covered by this subsection, or (ii) within the premises of which is physically located any such covered establishment, and (B) which holds itself out as serving patrons of such covered establishment.
(c) Operations affecting commerce; criteria; “commerce” defined
The operations of an establishment affect commerce within the meaning of this subchapter if (1) it is one of the establishments described in paragraph (1) of subsection (b) of this section; (2) in the case of an establishment described in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) of this section, it serves or offers to serve interstate travelers or a substantial portion of the food which it serves, or gasoline or other products which it sells, has moved in commerce; (3) in the case of an establishment described in paragraph (3) of subsection (b) of this section, it customarily presents films, performances, athletic teams, exhibitions, or other sources of entertainment which move in commerce; and (4) in the case of an establishment described in paragraph (4) of subsection (b) of this section, it is physically located within the premises of, or there is physically located within its premises, an establishment the operations of which affect commerce within the meaning of this subsection. For purposes of this section, “commerce” means travel, trade, traffic, commerce, transportation, or communication among the several States, or between the District of Columbia and any State, or between any foreign country or any territory or possession and any State or the District of Columbia, or between points in the same State but through any other State or the District of Columbia or a foreign country.
(d) Support by State action
Discrimination or segregation by an establishment is supported by State action within the meaning of this subchapter if such discrimination or segregation (1) is carried on under color of any law, statute, ordinance, or regulation; or (2) is carried on under color of any custom or usage required or enforced by officials of the State or political subdivision thereof; or (3) is required by action of the State or political subdivision thereof.
(e) Private establishments
The provisions of this subchapter shall not apply to a private club or other establishment not in fact open to the public, except to the extent that the facilities of such establishment are made available to the customers or patrons of an establishment within the scope of subsection (b) of this section.”