MUSKOGEE COUNTY, Okla. - Quick fact:
- Chris Martin, a two-time veteran and practicing Muslim, showed up to a Muskogee County gun range Tuesday.
- That gun range has a sign in the front banning those who follow the teachings of Islam.
- Martin hopes that his showing up prompts dialogue on discrimination.
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Tensions are high at a Muskogee County gun range.
Owners at the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear posted a sign banning Muslims from their store last week, and Tuesday FOX23 followed a Muslim military veteran into the gun range.
FOX23 cameras were greeted by men with high-powered weapons outside the store, as volunteers stood guard there after the owners claimed their sign elicited death threats.
Chris Martin was also present. Martin is a two-time war veteran from Desert Storm and the Cold War.
“My job was to save marines and sailors,” he said.
Martin also practices Islam, which would bar him from the establishment.
“I just wanted to express my disapproval,” he said.
The veteran said that when he arrived, he was asked to leave.
“They just said, ‘This is private property. You are not allowed here,’” Martin explained.
Martin said that once the men learned he was a veteran, they said he was allowed on the gun range.
“They’re saying now it’s just [banning] someone who’s an extremist or terrorist,” Martin said.
Martin drove from California to confront the owners after he heard of their sign. He said he hopes his showing up sparks conversation on discrimination.
A volunteer guard at the range said they thanked Martin for his service and welcomed him to shoot there anytime.
The owners closed up shop later Tuesday after an accidental shooting there.
The sheriff’s department said a man guarding the facility accidentally shot himself in the arm when a gun fell from his holster.