A gun range owner who drew national attention for calling her establishment a “Muslim Free Zone” will run for Arkansas governor.
Jan Morgan, owner of the Gun Cave Indoor Firing Range in Hot Springs, made the announcement in a video on December 30. In the Republican primary, she’ll challenge incumbent Asa Hutchinson, who was elected in 2014, reports the Kansas City Star.
Morgan declared her gun range was a “Muslim Free Zone” in 2014 on social media and her website, insisting it was for her safety.
“I refuse to train the next islamic (sic) terrorist,” Morgan wrote on her site, adding that “countless others” contacted her to express support.
But many religious and civil liberties advocates said Morgan was denying rights protected under the Civil Rights Act, according to the Guardian. The U.S. Department of Justice said officials were monitoring the range in 2015 for potential constitutional violations.
“It’s unfortunately similar to what we’ve historically seen with public business accommodations in the South during the 1960s that literally advertised black people weren’t allowed,” Jenifer Wicks, litigation director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, told the Guardian. “She seems to have turned that on its face.”
Gun rights are Morgan’s signature issue, the Arkansas Times reported.
Morgan said she had ridden across the state on a motorcycle as part of her listening tour. She identified several planks of a platform for her candidacy including:
- “We must identify, expose, and replace politicians who ran as Republicans to get elected then once in office, began to legislate like democrats to please a progressive governor and his big corporate donors.”
- “We must demand roll call votes on all issues in House and Senate Judiciary. Legislators should not be allowed to hide behind group voice votes where there is no record of how they voted while representing their constituency. Transparency and accountability in our state government are not optional.”
- “The next step to recovery is to reduce the size of our state government. Republicans are supposed to be the party of limited government, yet, our current leadership has been busy over the past three years feeding the government beast and expanding it in size with our tax dollars.”
- “The corporate tax rate is also the second highest among Arkansas’s competitor states. That giant sucking sound you hear is Texas, Tennessee and Florida sucking our jobs, companies, college graduates, and affluent citizens out of our state. No wonder the governor has to go to China and offer millions of dollars, tax breaks, and job training money to get foreigners to open companies here. (Imagine what Arkansas business owners could do with that kind of government help).”
On Monday, Morgan announced she would hold a meet-and-greet event later this month at the Perry County Fairgrounds.
“Are Muslims invited?” asked a commenter on Facebook.
Morgan’s official page responded: “This is a public event not a private business that has to adhere to federal law. Therefore like any citizen are free (sic) to attend.”