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Firing range target of Muslim group over rule to remove head covering

A Kansas City area shooting range is under fire for not allowing a Muslim woman to shoot unless she removed her religious head covering. The Council on American-Islamic Relations asked the U.S. Department of Justice for a civil rights probe into the denial of services at Frontier Justice.

“The law demands equal access to public accommodations regardless of your race, color, religion and national origin,” CAIR attorney Zanah Ghalawanji said. “So Frontier Justice has disregarded and violated the civil rights protections by actively excluding Muslim women who wear the hijab from their business.”

The company, with facilities in Lee’s Summit and Kansas City, Kan., said in an email that head coverings are a safety risk because they could catch the hot brass when firing a firearm. The stores are known for catering to women. In an interview with Kera News, co-owner Bren Brown said the stores were “fashion-oriented destination shopping.”

Their focus on making the stores inclusive of women is one of their marketing strategies. But women, like men, must follow the guidelines.

“It saddens us that anyone would say we are not inclusive, given that we serve all races and religions every single day in all of our stores,” Frontier Justice President Bren Brown said in a statement. “We pride ourselves on this fact, and we strongly believe in America and the Second Amendment that is for every single American.”

Rania Barakat recounted during a Facebook Live news conference Thursday an incident that unfolded on January 1 at the Frontier Justice gun range in Lee’s Summit when she went with her husband there to shoot. The couple waited in line for an hour that day, she said, and when they approached the cashier to pay she was told that she must remove her hijab in order to use the facilities. Barakat said she had shot at other gun ranges without having to remove her hijab.

Frontier Justice employees cited the company’s dress code policy, which is posted on its website: “Hats, caps, bandanas or any other head covering will be removed in the facility, except baseball caps facing forward.” Barakat said she was told by the range’s manager that it was “a safety issue.” She said they left when it became clear they weren’t going to let them shoot.

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice