BENTON, Ark — A local business owner announced plans to build the state’s first Muslim only gun range in Benton.
Henry Salt, the entrepreneur behind the plans, says the idea came to him after seeing an anti-Muslim gun range open in Hot Springs. He hopes the gun range can give Muslims and eventually other minority religions a place to practice proper gun safety without fear of discrimination.
“After seeing the Christian only range I asked a few Muslim friends what they thought. Most said they have never shot a gun because local gun ranges usually treat them poorly,” Salt said. “We want a place of peace, so that people can comfortably learn to protect themselves and their families with firearms.”
Salt says he has not identified a location but is looking at a few spots such as the soon-to-close Enterprise Lanes Bowling alley or buying property next to the local Walmart.
All gun range members will be required to pass background checks to ensure they have no affiliations with fundamentalist groups, no previous crimes involving weapons, and have never voted for Tom Cotton in an election.
“We want to encourage and teach proper fire arm usage and safety. The last thing we would want is a bunch of idiots running around with weapons in grocery stores,” Salt says. “We hope overtime we can allow other religions and minority groups such as members of the LGBT community to shoot. We do not want to necessarily exclude Christians, but it is becoming hard just to filter out the crazy ones. Above all though we want to make sure we maintain a peaceful business.”
Local resident groups say they plan to protest the gun range once opened by burning items on the business property, blocking the entrance with weapons, raiding the building frequently, and holding bible training camps outside the property. “I cannot believe some business owner thinks they can come in and build a business that disallows members of a certain religion,” a planned protester tells us.