One of the big items on the liberals’ gun control wish list is to force gun store owners and employees to take training to recognize straw purchases of firearms, where an eligible person buys a gun and then gives it to a banned person. In Florida a gun store employee thought he was witnessing an attempted straw purchase and halted the sale, but all is not rosy. The person denied the gun was Muslim so therefore it is heinous act of racism and Islamophobia.
WCJB reports that 18-year-old Malik Bakr, a black Muslim from Gainesville, Florida, recently tried to purchase a gun. He didn’t know anything about guns, other than he wanted one, so he brought along his friend Heath Smiley to the local Bass Pro Shops.
“It was his first time owning one. First time ever shooting one, I went with him as guidance to tell him what he should buy for his first time, what would be most comfortable for him,” said Smiley.
Bakr’s complete lack of firearms knowledge combined with his friend coaching him on what type of gun to buy caught the attention of the gun counter employees.
“There was an older gentleman there and he was kind of looking at me and I thought it was kind of strange, I told him something was kind of shady because he was staring at me and staring at the dude that was working with me,” said Bakr.
Bakr filled out his form and paid for a background check when “the older gentleman” put a halt to the sale.
“That’s when he told me he didn’t feel comfortable selling me the firearm because he said that since I was with Heath, they thought I was going to buy it and give it to somebody younger,” Bakr said.
Gun stores, like all retail establishments, have the right to refuse service to anyone they don’t feel comfortable with. In the case of gun sales, if the owner or employee even thinks there is something not right, they have an obligation to stop the gun sale.
Unfortunately, airing on the side of caution is close to a hate crime when dealing with minority customers.
“When I saw this happen and they refused to sell him the weapon and I started voicing my opinion, I said ‘what because he’s Muslim, because he’s black?’ I said ‘this is disgusting, he has the right to exercise his second amendment right,’” Bakr’s friend Smiley said.
“My middle name is Abdul Shahid so my entire childhood I’ve gotten racial jokes, I’ve gotten Muslim jokes. I know how society is. It’s not a surprise,” said Bakr, adding, “I was like that’s crazy like all this stuff and I never thought I’d be the one in that situation but here I am.”
Even Bakr’s mother got in on the outrage:
“For him to be humiliated and discouraged was really hard,” said Bakr’s mom.
Bass Pro Sops said they tried to work it out with Bakr, but he is now refusing to shop at that establishment. In a statement the company seems to support their salespeople:
A spokesperson with Bass Pro Shops said in a statement, “Bass Pro Shops takes the selling of firearms very seriously, fully complying with all local, state and federal laws and regulations in place. Our store associates participate in extensive educational training programs that actively promote safety and responsibility. As an organization, we are proud of our track record of compliance.”
Not everything is about race, in fact most things aren’t. Straw purchases are a serious problem and Bakr and his friend definitely gave off the impression that’s what they were trying to do. Any reasonable person would have come to the same conclusion as the Bass Pro Shops employee did.
Bakr’s rights were not denied and he still has the ability to buy a gun. He should however do a little research and actually go down to the range and fire a gun at least once before buying one.