An Arizona-based firearms dealer is refusing to do business with gun owners or potential gun buyers who voted for Barack Obama, and whether it costs him money, he is providing those potential customers with what he considers an object lesson about actions and consequences.
Cope Reynolds, proprietor at Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, Ariz., told Examiner Friday that he is absolutely serious and he does not care if it upsets some people. His approach is visceral. It made headlines on AmmoLand and The Gun Wire, and it is garnering support from gun rights activists, as can be seen in the comments below.
“I’ve been trying to wake people up,” he lamented.
Reynolds’ approach is like a bucket of ice water, rather than a diplomatic nudge, however. The sign posted in the door of his shop says it all:
“If you voted for Barack Obama Your business is not welcome at Southwest Shooting Authority. You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.”
Inside, another sign warns, “If you voted for Obama, please turn around and leave!”
As a reader of this column revealed, not every gun owner turned his back on Obama. A number of people who belong to various Pacific Northwest gun rights forums also indicated, either openly or by refusing to disclose, that they voted for the president. Apparently, the phenomenon is not confined to Washington and Oregon, where some gun owners are “blue bloods” in a political sense.
Reynolds is having none of it, and he no longer wants their business. A sign that was posted outside of his store announced an “Obama bin Biden” sale, which brought criticism from pro-Obama residents in his community, according to a newspaper article. Reynolds doesn’t care. He wants to alienate those people, although upon reflection, it is not clear how he could enforce the policy.
If the idea spreads to other gun shops and then to the aisles at gun shows, Obama supporters may soon be shooting blanks. There is no indication that other firearms retailers have copied Reynolds, in Arizona or elsewhere in the Southwest. But the story just broke Friday.
Is it discrimination? Retailers retain the right to refuse business to anyone, and in the case of a gun dealer, he is not violating anyone’s Second Amendment right by telling them to pound sand. He even bought advertising space in the White Mountain Independent newspaper to explain his position.
“Effective immediately, if you voted for Obama, your money is no good here,” the advertisement says. “You have proven beyond a doubt that you are not responsible enough to own a firearm. We have just put a sign up on the front door to save you the trouble of walking all the way in here….”
Reynolds is a transplant. He originally had a business in Farmington, N.M. but moved to Pinetop a few years ago. It is a small community more than 100 miles northeast from Phoenix in the White Mountains; the kind of place “nobody ever heard of.”
After this week, it’s going to be on everybody’s map.