As reported Saturday by Victoria Cavaliere of The New York Daily News, Cope Reynolds — owner of Southwest Shooting Authority in Pinetop, AZ — took out a full page ad saying, “if you voted for Barack Obama you’re business is not welcome.” As Reynolds explained during a Tuesday phone interview with Examiner, “I am prohibited by federal law from selling guns to someone who is mentally deficient.”
“It says right on the 4473,” he noted of the federal government’s Firearms Transaction Record that prohibits gun sales to those who have “been adjudicated as mentally incompetent.”
Nevertheless, Reynolds doesn’t need a doctor’s note to legally refuse to sell someone a gun.
It is at our discretion, by federal law, if we have someone we think should not be in possession of a firearm, we have the right to refuse them service.
Reynolds also posted a sign on the store’s front door:
If you voted for Obama, please turn around and leave! You have proven you are not responsible enough to own a firearm.
To Cavaliere, the sign is “especially curious because it seems to advocate a form of gun control — an issue usually more identified with Democratic voters.”
However, Reynolds already clarified Friday during a telephone interview with The Huffington Post that his decision to post the ad had “little to do with gun control.”
“It is about the direction that this country is going and the direction it’s been going for the last four years,” Reynolds said, “and I feel like the people that voted for him are by and large the ones that are on the many entitlements and free stuff that they’ve been getting.”
If someone really believes that this country can get any stronger and do any better under the leadership of Barack Obama, then I don’t feel like they’re responsible enough to own a gun.
“I’ve not imposed any gun restrictions,” Reynolds insisted to Examiner. “You’re welcomed to go down the street and buy a gun. You’re just not going to buy it from me.”
Additionally, had Cavaliere consulted his business website, she would have seen where Reynolds proclaims — at the top of the home page — that Southwest Shooting Authority is a place “where gun control is considered a product of good training.”
To Reynolds, “it’s the liberals who want gun control.”
“Gun owners,” he said, “overwhelmingly promote gun responsibility.”
“I’ve lived and worked in 36 states and eight countries,” Reynolds explained to Examiner. “I’ve been in gun ranges from coast to coast and border to border and I see the same thing everywhere I go. I see people that are willing to help people that want help. When you get new shooters or women or the handicapped or somebody who is having trouble, there’s always somebody there to come up and say: “Hey, can I give you a hand? Can I show you an easier way to do that?’”
They are courtesies Reynolds said he never observes “at places where liberals hang out.”
I see people that laugh. I see people that take advantage. They’re snotty. They’re rude. They’re hateful. I don’t want them in my store. I don’t want their damn money and I don’t think they should be having a gun.
“This has turned into a war,” Reynolds reiterated Tuesday to Examiner. “It’s us against them. And I literally think it’s going to turn into a war before it’s over with. I think this president is going to lead us into something that we can’t get out of sooner or later.”
Meanwhile — in show of support similar to that given by conservatives on Chick-fil-A Day, when CEO Dan Cathy held to his opposition of same-sex marriage — Reynolds told the Huffington Post that Southwest Shooting Authority has received a tremendous amount of support in response to his refusal to sell guns to Obama voters. Some people, he said, even made the five-hour drive from Tucson to his shop just “to shake our hand, get a picture” before returning home.
“We had 131 phone calls yesterday,” Reynolds told Examiner, “127 of them in support of what we do.”
In addition to Cavaliere’s misinterpretation that Reynolds’ endeavor to promote “gun responsibility” is an effort “to advocate a form of gun control,” she misreported that “Reynolds did not reply to the Phoenix New Times when the newspaper called to ask how store clerks would identify Obama voters.”
Since the ad came out — along with hundreds of calls per day – Reynolds told Examiner they receive “between 60 and 80 phone messages.”
According to Friday’s report by Phoenix New Times reporter Matthew Hendley, Reynolds “did not reply” was because “no one picked up the phone.”
“We also sent an e-mail” to ask Reynolds “how he’s going to identify Obama voters who try to sneak in,” Hendley wrote further.
Then, in a separate article Friday, he confessed that Reynolds replied to that email — the same day.
Obviously, this is nothing more than a political statement. Of course, it would be impossible to enforce. If they don’t say anything, we’ll never know. They could purchase whatever they wanted, and they would probably get a big kick out of thinking that they are rubbing it in our face as they walk out the door. Some folks are easily amused that way.
However, if they own up to it, we will not serve them. This goes way beyond gun control, which many think is why we did this. I should have as much right to post a sign on my door as those that post “No Guns” on their doors.
“We’d theorized,” Hendley admitted curiously — giving tenable credence, perhaps inadvertently, to Reynolds’ opinion that liberals can be “snotty” — “that maybe the folks at the store might recognize the guy who pulled up to the store in his Toyota Prius — wearing the tie-dye shirt, with a doobie tucked behind his ear — might be the Obama voter.”
Considering his telling hypothesis, Hendley’s Tuesday lament — that Federal law-enforcement officers who found 425 pounds of “doobie” makings “tucked behind” a “false wall” in the back of a truck full of piñatas “busted what was undoubtedly going to be a great fiesta” – becomes somewhat ironic.