Texas gun instructor won't train Muslims, Obama supporters

 

A wildly popular clip shows Texas handgun instructor Crockett Keller coolly informing listeners that Muslims and Barack Obama supporters are not welcome at his firearms classes.

The clip came from a radio ad Keller, 65, aired on a country station near his home in Mason, Texas, about 100 miles west of Austin. It has been viewed more than 37,000 times on YouTube, sparking debates among viewers about terrorists and rednecks.

"If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class," Keller says in the ad. "You've already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under the law. Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you this class. Once again, with no shame, I am Crockett Keller."

Keller, who runs a store in Mason that sells, among other things, guns, did not return calls Tuesday. But in an interview with the Associated Press he defended the ad, saying he was inspired to make it after being "flabbergasted" by neighbors who left the state to campaign for President Obama and his own concern about training Muslims.

"I got to thinking, 'Hmm, I'm arming the enemy,' " Keller said.

The ad stopped airing last week.

A spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety told The Times it was investigating Tuesday whether to revoke or suspend Keller's license to teach concealed-handgun courses.

"Conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity or religion would place that instructor's certification by the department at risk of suspension or revocation," the department said in a statement released to The Times.

Mustafaa Carroll, executive director of the Houston chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he encouraged state officials to investigate Keller's comments, although he was unsure what power the state had to intervene.

Carroll, who owns a hunting rifle and has hunted deer and owned other firearms, called Keller's comments "disturbing on so many levels."

"He’s not alone. There’s a lot of people who feel like he does" due to misconceptions about Islam, Carroll said, but "the state has guidelines and regulations -- that should be all he’s worried about following."

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New York man, 80, swallowed by sinkhole outside his front door

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Houston

Video: Crockett Keller, 65, a central Texas firearms instructor, recently aired an ad for his classes banning Barack Obama supporters, Muslims and non-Christian Arabs. The ad went viral this week, drawing criticism and the attention of state regulators. Credit: YouTube

 
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Rene Lynch has been an editor and writer in Metro, Sports, Business, Calendar and Food. @ReneLynch

As an editor and reporter, Michael Muskal has covered local, national, economic and foreign issues at three newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times. @latimesmuskal


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