INVERNESS, Fla., Aug. 18 (UPI) -- Reports surfaced Thursday about a "Muslim-free" gun store in Inverness, Fla., that is now selling prints of the Confederate battle flag painted by George Zimmerman.
Florida Gun Supply's owner Andy Hallinan was criticized when he declared his store a "Muslim-free zone" and sued by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Hallinan said that he does not want to arm people who do harm to his "fellow patriots."
With regards to the Zimmerman paintings, Hallinan has said that Zimmerman originally was going to paint an American flag for sale at the store, but chose to replace it with the Confederate flag after learning that Hallinan was to be sued by the CAIR. Zimmerman was to dedicate the painting to Hallinan, praising the owner's true patriotism.
The print of Zimmerman's painting, sized 24" by 18", sells for $50 on the store's site, with proceeds going to both Hallinan and Zimmerman as well as to a local Boys and Girls Club. A discount can be obtained if a customer pays cash.
Hallinan has a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section on the sale page of the flag where he rejects certain accusations. For example, he denies the links the media has established between racism and the Confederate flag, saying that although it "has been used by a small amount of people to incite racism ... it has not become a symbol of racism. You cannot assume everyone who flies a Confederate flag is racist in the same way that you cannot judge every Muslim to be a terrorist, or every gun owner to be a serial killer."
The store also published a mini-documentary on the media bias that Hallinan feels has misrepresented Zimmerman and American history.
Hallinan also denies the accusations levied against him for being racist, saying "the media will ONLY share the point of view that makes them sell more papers" and that Zimmerman and himself both executed kind acts in recent times, such as Zimmerman's rescue of a family in an overturned SUV and Hallinan's recent planning and financing of a funeral for a family involved in a road rage murder.