A Texas handgun instructor is facing a state investigation after he ran a radio ad telling Muslims and non-Christian Arabs that he would not teach them how to handle a firearm.
Crockett Keller told Fox News he would not apologize for the ad – which ran on a country music station in Mason – about 100 miles west of Austin.
“I have no regrets,” he said. “I’m not a mean individual – not to say that occasionally I’ll get a little bit saucy or crude with my language.”
Nevertheless, he said he considers Muslims “our enemy” and he said they aren’t the only ones not welcomed at his handgun class.
“If you are a socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner-in-chef, please do not take this class,” he says in the ad that went viral on YouTube. “You’ve already proven that you cannot make a knowledgeable and prudent decision as required under law.”
Crockett ended his ad with an attack on Muslims.
“Also, if you are a non-Christian Arab or Muslim, I will not teach you this class,” he says. “Once again, with no shame, I am Crockett Keller.”
The Texas Dept. of Public Safety told Fox News that Keller is now the focus of an investigation into possible discrimination.
“The Department became aware of the statements in question and is conducting an investigation into the matter,” a spokesman wrote in a statement. “The investigation is ongoing. The Department will take appropriate administrative action based on the findings from the investigation.”
According to the Dept. of Public Safety, Keller’s instructor certification could be revoked or suspended.
Keller said he welcomed the investigation, but was alarmed that his certification is on the line.
“If I can’t exercise my First Amendment rights, then it’s a hell of a world we live in,” he said.
The Texas Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned Keller’s ad – calling it ugly rhetoric.
“We try not to give too much credibility to some of these people who do outlandish things,” spokesman Mustafaa Carroll told the Associated Press. “But there are some issues that we do have to address.”
Carroll said his organization would be watching for the outcome of the Dept. of Public Safety investigation before issuing further comments.
Keller said he’s been surprised by the outpouring of support he’s received – 30 to one – according to his calculations.
“It’s a good feeling,” Keller said. “Sometimes you think you’re all alone in the world especially when you make a statement that’s gone worldwide. I feel like I’m speaking for thousands – if not millions of Americans out there.”
And what if Keller’s comments offended non-Americans?
“If they’re not Americans, I don’t care,” he said.