A lawsuit filed by a Muslim activist organization against a Florida firearms retailer who posted a “Muslim Free Zone” sign has been dismissed and the case ordered closed because the statement was protected by the First Amendment and the activists couldn’t show they were injured.
The decision was released by U.S. District Judge Beth Bloom in a case brought by a local chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations against Florida Gun Supply, which was defended by officials with the American Freedom Law Center.
AFLC Senior Counsel David Yerushalmi said, “This dismissal was yet another AFLC victory against CAIR and its jihadi lawfare against patriotic Americans across the country. This victory follows on the heels of a recent victory against CAIR in a Michigan federal court where CAIR’s subpoenas were quashed and CAIR’s nefarious client sanctioned for abusive practices.”
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He continued, “CAIR was born from a jihadi terrorist conspiracy, and it has done little to distance itself from those bona fides. CAIR is on notice: if you attempt to use the courts to conduct your civilizational jihad, AFLC will be there to defend law-abiding, patriotic Americans and our nation’s national security. We will match and defeat your civilization jihad with our constitutional lawfare in every courtroom across the nation.”
CAIR Florida had filed the action against Florida Gun Supply in July after its owner declared in a YouTube video his retail store is a “Muslim Free Zone.”
That followed the terrorist attack in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where five service members were gunned down. At that time, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, who was born in Kuwait, was accused of killing four U.S. Marines and a U.S. Navy petty officer during a shooting rampage. Abdulazeez also died.
Authorities are investigating the suspect’s 2014 trip to the Middle East to determine if he had contact with any extremists.
CAIR claimed the statement was religious discrimination in violation of Title II of the Civil Rights Act.
The store owner, Andy Hallinan, explained he would refuse to equip the next Paris-type terrorist with dangerous firearms. Consequently, pursuant to its official, written policy, Florida Gun Supply will not serve “[a]nyone who is either directly or indirectly associated with terrorism in any way.”
AFLC reported, “Despite Hallinan’s legitimate concerns about public safety – concerns which have been confirmed most recently with the deadly terrorist attacks in France and the claims by ISIS to engage in similar attacks here in the United States – CAIR Florida sued Florida Gun Supply in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, alleging religious discrimination.”
AFLC Co-Founder Robert Muise said, “As our motion and now the court’s ruling make clear, CAIR’s lawsuit was patently frivolous if not outright dangerous. No firearms dealer or gun range owner for that matter should be required to sell weapons to or train anyone that the dealer or owner has reason to believe is a terrorist threat. We all have a civic responsibility to prevent the next terrorist attack. CAIR’s lawsuit was an effort to prevent business owners from doing so.”
The court ruled that CAIR “insufficiently alleged imminent harm. The complaint contains only bald, conclusory allegations devoid of factual enhancement.”
The ruling continued, “There are simply no facts grounding the assertion that [CAIR] and/or one of its constituents will be harmed.”
It also cited the First Amendment.