The controversial Florida gun store owner, Andy Hallinan, who made news last year when he declared his store a “Muslim-Free Zone”, is stirring things up again.
Halliman announced that he is now selling targets on the website for his Inverness store, Florida Gun Supply, that feature the faces of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders.
A product description for the targets reads:
Is target really legal?
Absolutely. The First Amendment protects the right to free expression, which includes the right to shoot, burn, or in any way destroy an image of anyone including the president as long you’re not posing a “credible threat.” The standard here is whether there is genuine intent to commit or incite violence, and also whether that violence is likely to actually occur. If there’s no “clear and present danger,” as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. put it, there’s no basis for censorship. So unless the Seaside Heights boardwalk is, in fact, a surreptitious assassination training ground, the game is perfectly legal.
According to Hallinan.
Hallinan said he was inspired to create the offensive targets, starting with the Vermont senator, after taking on an army of Sanders supporters online for a prank gone-wrong. The gun store owner drew the outrage of Sanders fans after he covered a car’s “Bernie 2016” bumper stickers with his own “Muslim Free Zone” stickers outside of a Second Amendment rally in Massachusetts.
After receiving a barrage of bad reviews, prank calls and threats on social media, Hallinan created the targets and put them up for sale.
On May 31st, on the store’s Facebook page, Hallinan responded to the publicity with a post that read, “This art is not to incite violence – but rather to inspire ALL of America to gain a better understanding of how strong our 1st amendment rights are – even if they are unpopular.”
Since banning Muslims from his store in July 2015, as a response to a Kuwait-born gunman’s shooting rampage in Chattanooga, he has aligned himself with George Zimmerman — who shot and killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2013. The two joined forces to allow Hallinan to sell Zimmerman’s artwork through the store.