The owner of a Central Florida gun shop that recently declared itself a "Muslim-free zone" announced that he is teaming up with another Floridian, George Zimmerman, to raise funds for both of their legal bills by selling prints of Zimmerman's painting of a Confederate flag.
In a newly posted 10-minute "mini-documentary" about the burgeoning friendship between Zimmerman and Florida Gun Supply owner Andy Hallinan, the pair discussed how they believe "the media twists the truth" about them and argued that the Confederate flag must be defended by Americans against a "cultural cleansing" campaign waged by the media and the political elite.
"I was painting the American flag when I heard of you getting sued by CAIR (the Council on American-Islamic Relations), and I decided that I would do for you what the American people did for me," Zimmerman told Hallinan, in reference to his own fundraising campaign for a legal defense fund. In 2013, Zimmerman was acquitted of second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin.
The prints are going for about $50 each, and Zimmerman and Hallinan have promised to give the original painting away to one of the people who purchase a print. Most of the proceeds will be split between Zimmerman and Hallinan to use for legal bills and living expenses; an unspecified portion will go to the Boys and Girls Club.
His gun shop is facing a federal lawsuit from the Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, after Hallinan's July announcement that his gun store was becoming a "Muslim-free zone." He noted then that he "will not arm and train those who wish to do harm to my fellow patriots." In doing so, Hallinan "singled out Muslims as a group of people that it intends to treat differently," CAIR's complaint alleges.
The CAIR chapter has asked the U.S. District Court in Southern Florida for an injunction, which would prohibit Hallinan's shop from "discriminating against Muslims." CAIR also asked the judge to restrain the Florida Gun Supply "from instituting any policies or practices that discriminate or segregate people on the basis of religion, along with attorney's fees and costs."