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‘Business is Booming’: Gun store owner who banned Obama supporters sees surge in sales

Published time: November 26, 2012 21:16
Edited time: November 27, 2012 01:16
Reuters / Tami Chappell

Reuters / Tami Chappell

Some Republicans feared that a second term for US President Barack Obama would be catastrophic to the country’s economy, but one private store owner says business is booming and the president is to thank.

Cope Reynolds, owner of Southwest Shooting Authority, says he’s “been busier than a cat covering up poop on a marble floor,” lately, and all because of a rather unusual and accidental promotion. The proprietor of the Pinetop, AZ gun-and-ammo store posted signs around his shop and even took out a full-page ad in the White Mountain Independent newspaper the morning after Pres. Obama won a second term in office to warn supporters of the incumbent to stay out of his store.

“If you voted for Barack Obama, your business is not welcome at Southwest Shooting Authority. You have proven you’re not responsible enough to own a firearm,” the adverts read.

In the weeks since, Reynolds says business is now “booming” and he likely has his unusually outspoken signage to thank. He says his store has been flooded with calls since his campaign first made headlines, and now the support is pouring in from everywhere.

“We’ve even gotten calls from Afghanistan, England, almost every state in the union. Overwhelmingly they’re in support,” Reynolds tells Talking Points Memo. “You can always tell the ones that are not — nine out of 10 of them start out with vile and nasty language. And I guess they don’t have the intelligence to carry on a conversation like an adult. Probably about 75 percent have been for it, maybe even more than that.”

Reynolds says that even if some are responding less than positively, he doesn’t think it affects business.

“People are saying that I’ve alienated half of our customers,” Reynolds tells the Arizona Republic. “No, I haven’t. I haven't alienated any of my customers, because the people who voted for Obama don’t buy guns here. They don't come here at all. I haven’t alienated. I’ve improved things. I have packages sitting on my desk to be shipped to places like Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Idaho, Nevada and California.”

If you’re voted for Obama, writes Reynolds in a statement, “your money is no good” at Southwest Shooting Authority

“Obviously, this is nothing more than a political statement,” he tells the Phoenix New Times. “Of course, it would be impossible to enforce. If they don't say anything, we'll never know. They could purchase whatever they wanted, and they would probably get a big kick out of thinking that they are rubbing it in our face as they walk out the door. Some folks are easily amused that way. However, if they own up to it, we will not serve them. This goes way beyond gun control, which many think is why we did this. I should have as much right to post a sign on my door as those that post ‘No Guns’ on their doors.”

If people have a problem with Reynolds’ policy, they are invited to call him at the store’s phone number, 928-367-AK47. You should probably think twice though if you’re intending on taking up any complaints you may have face-to-face.

“We’re able to wear our guns in Arizona and we wear one 24-7,” he tells the Daily Caller. “We train regularly.”