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Religion and the Law

May Missouri Shooting Range Discriminate Against Muslims?

That's the issue raised by a newly filed federal lawsuit.

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The Complaint filed today in Barakat v. Brown (W.D. Mo.) alleges that a shooting range was indeed doing that:

[21.] Frontier Justice imposes a discriminatory headwear ban that prohibits, "Hats, caps, bandanas or any other head covering…except baseball caps facing forward." (Frontier Justice Membership and Range Rules – Dress Code). Exhibit A.

[22.] Consistent with Defendant Mike and Bren Brown's instructions and their headwear ban, in numerous instances since at least 2016, Defendants have denied Muslims who wear hijab entry to Frontier Justice, based on violations of their dress code policy, while allowing similarly situated individuals who wear headcaps or other clothing that similarly covers the neck and head to enter their facility and access to their services.

If the policy was indeed just a pretext for discriminating against Muslims (even if only some Muslims), or was otherwise discriminatorily enforced against Muslims, that would probably indeed violate the public accommodations provision of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, though that's not completely clear. The Act applies to only particular classes of businesses:

Each of the following establishments which serves the public is a place of public accommodation within the meaning of this subchapter if its operations affect commerce, or if discrimination or segregation by it is supported by State action:

(1) any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests, other than an establishment located within a building which contains not more than five rooms for rent or hire and which is actually occupied by the proprietor of such establishment as his residence;

(2) any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, soda fountain, or other facility principally engaged in selling food for consumption on the premises, including, but not limited to, any such facility located on the premises of any retail establishment; or any gasoline station; [and]

(3) any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium or other place of exhibition or entertainment ….

The category under which gun ranges might be covered is "place[s] of exhibition or entertainment." Daniel v. Paul (1969) held that this term includes "recreational areas" and not just places for spectators to watch events (as in the theaters, concert halls, and stadiums that are listed in the same subsection); United States v. DeRosier (5th Cir. 1971) likewise held that a bar qualified because of the presence of a "juke box, shuffle board and pool table for the use and enjoyment of the bar's patrons." Query whether a shooting range would be viewed as different because it's partly (largely? principally?) focused on practical training and not on "entertainment" as such.

[2.] Missouri antidiscrimination law is broader, and does cover shooting ranges that are generally open to the public (emphasis added):

"Places of public accommodation" [means] all places or businesses offering or holding out to the general public, goods, services, privileges, facilities, advantages or accommodations for the peace, comfort, health, welfare and safety of the general public or such public places providing food, shelter, recreation and amusement, including, but not limited to:

(a) Any inn, hotel, motel, or other establishment which provides lodging to transient guests …;

(b) Any restaurant, cafeteria, lunchroom, lunch counter, [or] soda fountain …;

(c) Any gasoline station, including all facilities located on the premises of such gasoline station and made available to the patrons thereof;

(d) Any motion picture house, theater, concert hall, sports arena, stadium, or other place of exhibition or entertainment …..

So if this is a range that most members of the "general public" can just go into and use —as opposed to a "private club," which is exempted from the law—then the owner is legally barred from discriminating among patrons based on religion (or various other attributes). But I believe that, to take advantage of this state statute, the plaintiff must first file a complaint before the Missouri Commission on Human Rights; here, the plaintiff decided to go directly to federal court under the federal statute, which it can do without first filing such a complaint.

I leave to others the moral rights or wrongs of such antidiscrimination laws; what I have to offer is the legal analysis, and here it is.

NEXT: Merely Retweeting Link to Old Article Doesn't Restart Statute of Limitations

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  1. a hijab often covers a lot more than a baseball cap.

    1. The ultimate concealed carry

    2. Often I saw them covering bomb vests...

      1. If it's covering a bomb vest, how could you see that?

        1. when they got brought to the combat support hospital for medical treatment, and EOD has to work on them first

      2. How could hijab cover a vest?

  2. The range could also intend race discrimination since some groups are known for wearing the caps backwards, which is forbidden by the policy.

    1. I can confirm from personal experience that the majority of blacks, at least around Greenville, wear their ball caps in the normal way. It seems to be more of an age thing than a race thing.

      The policy seems badly written, unless there's some back story that's not apparent.

      That said, Roger S, further down the comments, is right: The policy doesn't violate the non-aggression principle, any libertarian would say, "Eh, whatever.", and just not shoot at the joint if they were offended.

      But the non-constitutional 'right' not to be discriminated against is not so gradually consuming all other rights, as it was obvious from the start it would, if taken seriously.

      1. When I was first in the US Air Force, we were directed to wear our hats backwards on the firing range - to keep the brim from interfering with the sights....

        So this seems an odd policy

        1. At the range I find myself turning my cap bill backwards
          (a) to not interfere with the sights and
          (b) keep hot empties from the guy on my left from going down the back of my shirt.

  3. This will be a tough one for the kooks here. On the one hand: !guns!; on the other hand: !brown people!

    Because guns are sacrament, I think the brown people will get the sympathy here

    1. You don't know these clingers very well. Guns in the hands of brown people are an exception to the shoot-'em-up doctrine. The bigots take this one handily in the clingerverse; the rubes are assembling for their lathering as we speak.

    2. How to say you actually don't know anything about gun owners without saying that you don't know anything about gun owners

      1. I guess, prove the point, Mr Burton. You want them Sikhs to target practice or not?

  4. " I leave to others the moral rights or wrongs of such antidiscrimination laws "

    Well, this time, perhaps in deference to a nice academic position and a pension . . . but the next time the clingers are crying foul, the difference will be predictable.

    1. Ok, Boomer. All we want to hear from your stupid mouth is the date of your resignation so you may be replaced by a diverse illegales.

  5. I fully expect that all of those persons who claim that government must yield to sincerely held religious beliefs and do everything in its power to not allow any restrictions on religious freedom and to protect the practice of religion at all costs regardless of anything else will leap the side of the Muslims in this situation. They will litigate, picket, protest, march and challenge. This will be 24/7 on Fox News, and somehow Biden and Fauci will be blamed for this blatant attack on religious freedom and the 1st amendment.

    Oh wait a minute. It's Muslims. Never mind.

    1. What is the government attempting to force the Muslims to do in this case?

      1. Mr. Toranth, in this case the government is being asked to decide whether Sikhs can expect to get a bullet wedding cake like everyone else or just pound sand and hope the next range serves folks like them

        1. What?
          You and Sindey are desperately trying to tie this to other cases involving religious freedom, but both of you have completely misunderstood (and misrepresented, to put it politely) this case.

          What does this case have to do with "sincerely held religious beliefs"? Can you make an argument without resorting to vague "racissssst" claims?

          1. "Can you make an argument without resorting to vague "racissssst" claims?"

            Probably not. But these people have brought this on themselves. All the rulings for complete religious hegemony and total access to weaponry compound themselves such that you get a case like this one where it tests the convictions of those who have argued for both here for years. So I've got my popcorn and am ready to watch the contortions.

            And yes, I think it is very apt to remind the kooks here of past caselaw.

            1. That doesn't even make sense.
              People complaining that the government is forcing them to do things against their religion is not the same as one private citizen claiming another group of private citizens is discriminating against them because of their religion and won't allow them to do something.

              Not only do you have the government involvement wrong, you've got the entire "forced" vs "allowed" backwards.
              On top of that, you're letting your bigot flag fly high with the ranting about "complete religious hegemony and total access to weaponry ".

              The only contortions going on here are yours as you try to fit this case into your bigoted and preconceived notions of what people you don't like are thinking.

              1. Well, that's fairly unhinged. Guess my work here is done. Thanks for playing, Mr. Toranth.

                1. Can you actually present an argument, or are you just trolling?

          2. " What does this case have to do with "sincerely held religious beliefs"? "

            The asserted religious belief that one must not remove headwear, you bigoted, ignorant rube.

            For fun, I invite you to distinguish this case from that of a pharmacist who refuses an employer's order to fill a customer's prescription, claiming religious objection to the prescription; that of a person banned from a government program for refusing to arrange adoptions involving gays; or that of an employee fired for wearing jewelry depicting a cross, for wearing a yarmulke, or for showing up to work with a smeared forehead on Ash Wednesday.

  6. It’s pretty clear it doesn’t cover brothels even though these are also arguably places of entertainment. What distinguishes shooting ranges from them?

    1. Range? You aren't going to shoot on a prostitute from 50 yards. 🙂

  7. "Hats, caps, bandanas or any other head covering…except baseball caps facing forward."

    For those who have never lived in the can't-keep-up backwaters, that's established clinger code for 'Whites, only Whites, preferably downscale and uneducated.'

    1. So relentlessly stupid. Your life must be pathetic

      1. wreckinball seems upset that I revealed the code . . .

  8. Have a plate of bacon on the counter...everyone has a piece to get in.

    Tasty, tasty bacon! Is there anything it cannot do?

    1. It can't make right-wingers competitive in the American culture war.

      But other than that, you have a worthy point.

  9. On its face, it appears that the "dress code" is a subterfuge for discrimination and bigotry, perhaps against Muslims specifically. The shooting range would be entitled to give an explanation, but I find it hard to think of one. I have gone to shooting ranges, and to my knowledge they did not have a dress code, at least not one that bans headwear. In my experience, no one cares. Nor should they, unless there is a safety issue, which there is not here.

    So the burden is very much on them to justify it.

    1. This is a classy joint.

    2. I would guess they want to discriminate against a set of potential clients they think are too associated with violence, whether that's because of concerns of violence at the range, or because they are concerned that the range would be associated with crimes committed elsewhere. But they probably don't want to be explicit that what they're really worried about are "'do rags" or backwards baseball caps or whatever other kind of headgear they associate with those potential clients.

      1. The problem with trying to exclude gang members by forbidding particular hats is that I don't think gang members feel a religious or other duty to wear any particular style of hat. I would expect they would just leave the offending hat in the car.

        This contrasts with the various religions that require particular headgear.

        It's possible that, in fact, gang members are very particular about wearing specific headgear at all times, and that the proprietors are merely trying to discourage patronage by violent crooks, and have a lot of potential customer/crooks in the area, and few enough Muslims/Sikhs/Jews that they didn't think through the implications. But it sure doesn't seem particularly likely.

        1. Should we consider Catholics gang members?

    3. I suggest you read through the rules (exhibit A).

      I'll give you a reasonable safety explanation. Eye & Ear protection are a requirement, and the ability for the range to verify people are complying with the requirement. Most headgear either prevents wearing these properly or prevents verification.

  10. Laws like this were originally justified as prohibiting discrimination by the States against Blacks. They have been expanded to prohibit adverse treatment of every group that the legislature's staff can identify. The world has changed. If a private company wants to exclude some potential customers, that's on the company. There's plenty of competitors eager to sell tickets.

  11. I wonder if "gasoline station" is a generic term now, not quite "kleenex" or "google" specifity, but one that also covers diesel-only fuel stations, or electric recharging stations.

  12. The Moslem could easily take his hijab off. If he refuses, then that is a good indication that he should not have a gun anyway.

    1. The great thing about this is that this rule also swallows observant Jews as well as Muslims. Two birds with one stone.

      It's like some liberal said to herself, "Hey, what kind of rule can I come up with that will make this business look like it's run by hick racist conservative rubes?"

      1. I noticed that too. I am not surrendering my kippah. I'll just head on down the road to the next range and spend twice the money I had planned.

        1. You could just put a (forward facing) baseball cap on, on top of your yarmulke.

          (Not that you should. I agree that you should take your business elsewhere.)

      2. Interestingly, the purpose served by the kippah is outside of religious rites equally served by a blank baseball cap as it has to do with covering the tops of their heads to respect God IIRC. It is not the particular garment that is important to the Jewish faith, but the covering of the head itself. Thus the religious observance itself is equally served with a blank baseball cap. For that matter, kippahs fit under a baseball cap and so the dress code of the range can be adhered to while still adhering to Jewish custom while wearing one. In either case, the accommodation to religious practice is present in regards to the Jewish faith. As for hijabs and turbans, they materially interfere with worn safety protection or the visual observance of that protection by the range safety monitor.

        The actual interesting part of the complaint is the following "other clothing that similarly covers the neck and head to enter their facility and access to their services." The only common clothing in the US that I can think of that would similarly cover the head and neck would be the hood on sweatshirts, hoodies, or rain or cold weather jackets. The idea that entrance into the establishment when presumably they would have removed the hood from their head while shooting constitutes uneven application of the policy is a really hard sell at best. Unless of course the complainant is indicating that she was willing to pull the hijab down while shooting.

    2. Libertarians used to believe in freedom of association. If a private group wants to do some shooting without religious statements on the head, that should be their privilege.

      1. First, we do not live in a libertarian world.

        Second, in a libertarian world, the gun club would be free to do what it wants. And others would be free to call them out on it, condemn them for bigotry, and even boycott them.

        Libertarianism, like liberty, works both ways. Your freedom ends where mine begins.

        1. Yes, but the woman isn't boycotting them, is she? She's trying to bring the force of the state to bear against them.

    3. The Moslem could easily take his hijab off.

      Since hijabs are what Muslim women wear, that seems unlikely.

      If he refuses, then that is a good indication that he should not have a gun anyway.

      And that seems like you're a racist.

      1. One thing that did occur to me, though. Moslem women wear hijabs, not men. This rule would not keep out Moslem men, so it is an odd way of discriminating against Moslems. (Presumably, the men are more interested in a shooting range than the women.)

  13. REALITY CHECK TIME.

    As a card carrying life time NRA member who is also a member of an NRA approved rifle and pistol range I know I should not be shocked by ignorant comments from non shooters about guns but lots of comments here shock me.

    To get insurance at a range there are standard safety rules that must be enforced. The two most standard rules are shooters and visitors must have eye protection and ear protection. The cheapest ear protection normally used is what is called ear muff style. Even with a hat the ear muff style can be a problem, but something like a hood, hijab, or other head covering makes it not only less effective but hard for the range officer to make sure there is ear protection. To some extent the same is true of eye protection glasses.

    One thing I am sure of is you don't want to get on the wrong side of the range officer. At sanctioned ranges with insurance the range officer can throw anyone off the range no questions asked for even the most minor of safety violations. Just as an aside I use ear plug like ear protection. The ones I use are designed for use by roadies for heavy metal bands that protect their ears from music that can be louder than jet engines if they are very close to the loud speakers. While these would solve the hijab problem more than one time a new range officer has shut down the range and walked up to me and asked what type of ear protection I was using. There are also electronic hearing aid style ear protection but I am not sure how well they would work under a hijab. One reason I don't like the ear muff style ear protection is it makes it impossible to get a good cheek weld when I am shooting long range precision matches.

    Bottom line is I can come up with plenty of good reasons that no head covering should be allowed on the range if only to make the range officer's job easier. Did I mention you don't want to get on the wrong side of the range officer.

    1. "I can come up with plenty of good reasons that no head covering should be allowed on the range if only to make the range officer's job easier"

      You probably can, but what would be the importance? 'Making the officer's job easier' doesn't provide sufficient reason to override the US constitution, does it?

      It makes the police's job much easier if they can just shoot anyone they suspect of a crime, but it's not a good thing to allow them to do that, is it?

      1. Where you're going off the rails is that the Constitution only guarantees that our religious rights are legally protected, that is, they are accommodated. That's not the same as saying people can do whatever we like in the name of religion, and the rest of society has to just like it or lump it. It means that society has to take the least disruptive course of action when forbidding a religious exercise for legal reasons.

      2. Patronizing a particular gun range is not a constitutional right.

        Anti-discrimination laws are statutes, and they typically have exceptions -- either explicit or implicit -- for behavior that is sufficiently justified for good-faith reasons. These exceptions might be couched in terms of undue burden on the business, or facially neutral rules or whatever else. Following range safety rules seems like a defensible reason to require uncovered ears.

        1. I had not thought about the safety aspect, and that's partially changed my mind about a gun range limiting headgear. But the rule that is in play in this actual case bans all headgear (other than baseball-type caps). For Jews, we are wearing, essentially, a toupee. Same for several other types of religious headgear.
          I now would see no problem at all with a rule that said something along the lines of, "Due to the safety concerns of protecting shooters' eyes and ears, and due to the need for range inspectors to determine if protective equipment is being properly worn, absolutely no headgear or clothing is permitted that covers the ears and/or obstructs proper use of eye protection."

          The tipoff that this range's motive is bad is the permitting of caps being worn in the "normal" way, but not being worn backwards. I was struck by an earlier post (ER Doc, if I'm remember correctly) that it might actually be safer to wear the cap backwards while shooting, so it sounds like the range is sacrificing safety, in an attempt to block 'certain groups' from participating.

          1. Not safety, it can impair accuracy, at least when using the iron sights on certain rifles. Not that common a thing, especially if you don't have the brim pulled way down low. Well, I suppose with certain rifles that eject brass at an extremely rearward angle it might, maybe, catch the brass and funnel it towards the shooter's face, but that's what the safety glasses are for anyway. Not to mention that worn backwards a cap could still easily do the same thing and funnel it down the back of the shooters shirt or with loose enough pants directly into their asscrack which would arguably result in significantly more flinching and attempts to remove the hot object in ways that would result in the muzzle of the gun going in much more dangerous directions.

      3. Davedave
        December.29.2021 at 5:23 am
        Flag Comment Mute User
        "You probably can, but what would be the importance? 'Making the officer's job easier' doesn't provide sufficient reason to override the US constitution, does it?"

        DaveDave - you just proved Ragebot's point - which that most of the commentators complaining about discrimination know very little about guns and gun safety, including you.

      4. Well my "religion" promotes human sacrifice. What are you doing this afternoon Davedave? Come on my Constitutional rights are at stake here.

    2. Rank thoughtless safety-ism, why I quit organized shooting. Shoot like you train and train like you fight does not include mouse ears and chi-chi glasses.

      I wonder, does the Nasty Regulators Ass. demand masks?

      1. I quit a few clubs that had outdoor ranges because of that. Some people got bent out of shape because I was combat shooting. Nothing unsafe, just shooting from cover and on the move. I agree partially about the "train like you fight" bit. I do shoot without hearing protection occasionally so that I'm used to the noise and it doesn't disorient me. I normally wear glasses and usually wear safety glasses so that isn't an issue.

    3. "The cheapest ear protection normally used is what is called ear muff style."

      Not even close. The cheapest ear protection would be disposable, single use, foam ear plugs.

      $1/pair, vs $20+ for ear muff style hearing protection.

      1. You should get up to speed on the lawsuit against 3M about the ear plugs they provided to the military that turned out to be responsible for hearing loss to military members. There is a difference between ear plugs that protect a person's hearing and those that are more of a fashion accessory. Lets keep in mind that while ear protection needs to reduce the decibel level of the sound from a gun being fired it is also important for the shooter to be able to hear instructions from the range officer; specifically but not limited to when the range is hot (weapons can be fired) and when the range is cold (weapons can not be fired), but range officer's instructions are not limited to this.

        One thing lost of ignorant posters are ignoring is things like ear and eye protection (and lots of other safety measures) are required for any insurance coverage. Anyone with even a tiny understanding of the law knows how much work goes into the language in an insurance binder's fine print.

        Lets not pretend going to a shooting range is entertainment in the same sense that going to a strip club is entertainment. Even going to a movie there are rules about wearing Abe Lincoln style top hats obstructing the view or other patrons. No way to sugar coat it there is lots of potential danger in even being a visitor at a shooting range and even more so going to the shooting line with a loaded weapon capable of injuring or killing.

        In order to join my NRA sanctioned rifle and pistol club and visit the shooting range I have to sign a waiver agreeing to abide by the safety rules. Visitors, shooting or just observing, are required to fill out a waiver on entering the locked gate agreeing to the same thing. The waiver also includes agreeing to obey without question the range officer.

        Bottom line is equating going to a shooting range as the same type of entertainment as going to a movie is just plain silly and thinking the laws governing those two activities is even sillier.

        1. If that is an attempted defense of a "forward-directed baseball hats only" policy, it is a lame attempt.

          1. Forward-directed baseball hats help keep the Sun out of the eyes. That is a good reason to allow them.

        2. "You should get up to speed on the lawsuit against 3M about the ear plugs they provided to the military that turned out to be responsible for hearing loss to military members. "

          The ear plugs I linked to are not a 3M product, so I don't see how that lawsuit would be relevant.

        3. I will further note, that I have looked up the 3M lawsuit. It is doubly irrelevant as the 3M earplugs at issue are not foam, and not single use disposables.

      2. When my sons and I went skeet shooting, that is what they gave us. Did not even charge us for them, they were free with the gun rental and ammo price. There was a big jar of them on the front table, and I had the impression that the owner got them very cheap in bulk.

  14. Either it's a place of entertainment or a sports arena*. Either way, it's obviously covered. No, you can't discriminate against Muslims like this. Or any other religion.

    *Note, this is distinguished from a sports _stadium_, and clearly means somewhere people participate in sports.

    "I leave to others the moral rights or wrongs of such antidiscrimination laws; what I have to offer is the legal analysis, and here it is."

    I struggle to understand why anyone would say such a thing, rather than simply condemning something that is obviously wrong. There are no nuanced moral issues here, just a simple case of right and wrong.

    Except to absolutely hardcore racists, this is wrong. Condemn it.

    1. " I struggle to understand why anyone would say such a thing, rather than simply condemning something that is obviously wrong. "

      Welcome, newcomer! The ways of the Volokh Conspiracy will not be difficult to apprehend, and it will not take much time to become able to predict the proprietor's conduct.

    2. Yes, Prof. Volokh should have simply condemned the clearly-wrong lawsuit, for the reasons pointed out by DaveM and TwelveInchPianist below. Only hardcore racists would think there is a sound basis for this lawsuit.

    3. As noted above, this wouldn't be discrimination against Muslim men though.

      Seems like a case of intersectionality.

  15. My, how different things look when one reads the actual filing.

    The lady was turned away because of a written policy against all head coverings, except one. Said policy was accurately communicated to her by the staff when she tried to enter the range. Her money was returned, she went to a different firing range where she was allowed to shoot with her headcovering on. People at the other range made some off-hand remarks about the first range. The lady goes home and does some Internet searching where she finds some additional complaints by other patrons in online chat rooms.

    Then she files a religious discrimination lawsuit.

    No effort made to understand the reasons for the policy (which also bans many other articles of clothing and jewelry). No effort made to work with the range owner to figure out an accommodation.

    Not nearly as cut-and-dried as it sounds.

    1. Can you think of a reason that single headcovering was permitted and all others forbidden? If not, ask any properly educated person for help.

      1. Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland
        December.29.2021 at 8:45 am
        Flag Comment Mute User
        "Can you think of a reason that single headcovering was permitted and all others forbidden? If not, ask any properly educated person for help."

        As you have amply demonstrated on virtually every topic, that person would not be you.

        1. I normally have The Rev set on stun, so I can't see his comment. From your quote, I take it that it's some form of "if you can't think of any reason other than racism for X, then you are an uneducated knuckle-dragger", which is what passes as his typical level of discourse.

          In this case, there is only one permitted form of headgear -- a baseball cap -- and it may be worn in only one way -- the bill must be facing towards the front. I have absolutely no idea why them's the rules since I'm not a range master, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to imagine it has something to do with being able to see exactly what everyone is doing while they are handling dangerous weapons in close proximity. Just a quess.

          1. Respectfully, I don't think it takes a rocket scientist to figure out that if the range's motivation were what you charitably state, it would ban all clothing that covers up the ears and the areas near the eyes...and would permit everything else. Can you explain why or how a kippah (or any of the dozens of similar "minimal" religious headgear) impacts any safety concerns? Can you explain why or how wearing a cap forwards is safe, but wearing one backwards is unsafe? (We've already seen a post from a former military member as to why wearing it backwards may be *safer* at a gun range.)

            I do agree with you that being able to easily see what everyone is doing is critically important at a gun range. That sort of rule should (IMO) easily pass strict scrutiny. But for minimal headgear? Sorry...sounds like religious discrimination to me.

            (I'm dismayed--but not the least bit surprised--by the posters here who think that this is OBVIOUSLY a ridiculous case . . . that there is absolutely no merit in the discrimination claims. That suggests to me an alarming lack of imagination. But, I guess, for people who have never been to law school, it's hard to have the mental discipline to say to oneself, "Hmmm...let me try and argue the other side--does that other side actually have any merit?"

            1. "(We've already seen a post from a former military member as to why wearing it backwards may be *safer* at a gun range.)"

              I think if you read that comment carefully, it wasn't about safety, it was to avoid putting your cheek on the rifle and having the sights/scope push your hat up. Which can happen, depending on the hat/rifle/shooter. And isn't an issue with pistols - when I see pics of soldiers shoot. In any event, it isn't universal in the military.

              "Can you explain why or how wearing a cap forwards is safe, but wearing one backwards is unsafe?"

              Most ranges encourage wearing a hat with a brim over the eyes. It helps keep brass etc. from dropping behind your safety glasses and face. I'm not aware of any that require it if you have a reason not to, or just really hate hats, but most people do wear a cap most of the time, IMHE.

                1. Here is a munged link (hyperlink wouldn't post) to a couple of AMU guys, one with ball cap touching the scope, the other hatless:

                  1. Take 43: link (gotta click thru the photos)

              1. Ab,
                Assuming that wearing a baseball cap forward is better (and I'm happy to do that, for argument's sake)...that's a good reason to permit baseball caps being worn forward. But it's NO REASON to forbid wearing baseball caps backwards--which, obviously, would leave that person in the same safety position as someone wearing no cap at all. Now, if a particular range required wearing a cap, then I'd see no problem with also requiring that it face forwards (or backwards, or sideways, or whatever that range felt was the most safe direction).

                The actual case still seems to me, to be a case of the range saying, "No thug-wear permitted."

                1. Sure, I agree, as posted elsewhere in this thread. I was just disagreeing with the notion that turning a cap around is a safety thing.

            2. "Can you explain why or how a kippah (or any of the dozens of similar "minimal" religious headgear) impacts any safety concerns? Can you explain why or how wearing a cap forwards is safe, but wearing one backwards is unsafe?"

              No, I can't explain it, as I've said, because they're not my rules, and I am not a range officer. The question I set out to answer is can I think of any reason other than racism for so doing, and I opined that it would very likely be pretty easy to come up with them.

              I still think so.

          2. By all means, please entertain us with a defense of a headgear policy that expressly approves forward-directed baseball hats while forbidding other baseball hats, yarmulkes, ski caps, turbans, and other forms of headwear.

          3. "In this case, there is only one permitted form of headgear -- a baseball cap -- and it may be worn in only one way -- the bill must be facing towards the front. I have absolutely no idea why them's the rules since I'm not a range master, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to imagine it has something to do with being able to see exactly what everyone is doing while they are handling dangerous weapons in close proximity. Just a quess."

            A profoundly stupid guess, which is about all that is left for a bigot trying to defend other bigots against reason and the reality-based world.

            Open wider, DaveM.

  16. But it's a private company!

  17. Sikhs and Orthodox Jews would also be disqualified. Why does the article focus on Muslims?

    1. Because the plaintiff is a Muslim. But the argument that this is a pretext seems shaky. As others have pointed out, it's largely both over and under-inclusive. It lets in male Muslims, and keeps out lots of other people.

      If it's a pretext, it's a poorly thought-out one.

      1. I don't think it's a pretext for racial or religious discrimination. Seems more like it's a badly thought out response to excluding gang members or gang member adjacent people, combined with range safety convenience.

    2. Heck, people wearing flip-flops would be disqualified. About religion, this ain't.

  18. I leave to others the moral rights or wrongs of such antidiscrimination laws

    1. Generally, discrimination is wrong. But I can see how, in certain instances, such discrimination might be defensible. E.g., what if there'd been repeated instances of persons wearing a hijab committing violent / terrorist acts?
    2. Liberals / progressives have this misguided idea that the government must spring into action and rectify every wrong. I disagree. I think that the government should not interfere with discrimination by private (non-governmental) entities.
    1. 1. There are repeated instances of people wearing pants committing violent and terrorist acts, far more than such instances of hijab wearers.
      2. Fine. But we had a vote and you lost. Don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.

      1. 1. That's not how positive predictive value works.
        2. Typical eliminationist rhetoric: You want to exile people who disagree with you. Sad!

        1. "Eliminationist"? "Exile"? I don't care if they stay or leave. I simply reserve the right to point and laugh.

  19. Up until COVID my Bank had a policy that you had to remove all head coverings and dark glasses upon entering. More than once I had to stand just inside the entrance until my prescription glasses lightened up.
    The indoor gun range I go to requires the removal of ALL head gear. Their stated purpose is that it allows the range master to visually check that people are wearing hearing protection.

    1. Living in Florida during the long hot summer I sometimes buy a month by month pass to visit an indoor range which has AC. There is a big sign on the door that no open carry or concealed carry is allowed when entering, your weapons must be unloaded in a gun case/bag. Once inside you have to show your ID to prove membership or pay by the hour for a one time use. Next you are buzzed into a room where you take out your weapons and show the range officer your weapon is not loaded by clearing it and locking the bolt back. Ear and eye protection are then checked and then you are buzzed through another door to enter the range. Once inside you will notice five closed circuit TV cameras that lead to monitors where the range officer can see what is happening on the range.

      On the other hand Leon County has what is called a public range. It is located well out in the national forest down a long dirt road. There is no fee to use it and no one monitors it. First couple of times I used it I was alone on weekdays. One Saturday I went out there to make my famous "have a nice day" vid of me shooting a smiley face on a target. It took a little longer than planned since a friend was making the vid while I was shooting. There were maybe a dozen peeps there, all white. A little before 5:00PM everyone but me and my homie left. At 5:00PM sharp black folks started to arrive and it was clear segregation was alive and well. Kinda bothered me a little and we quickly left.

    2. Wait, what? You're saying that my sign at my 7/11 saying, "No shoes, no shirt, no crucifixes, no service" sign is legal, since two-thirds of my ban is unarguable permissible? I'm not sure you have a correct understanding of the legal standard.

      1. 1. No idea why my above comment posted here. Thanks, Reason. 🙁

        2. JIMC. Are you saying that, before Covid, men entering the bank had to remove toupees and women (and chemo patients) had to remove wigs? I guess that a security rule is a security rule. But seems pretty harsh.

        1. My bank has a similar policy, but it's indifferently enforced. I guess only when they're suspicious.

  20. Once again I am shocked about the ignorance of some posters here in terms of wearing a hat. It is obvious they have never been to a shooting range.

    As I mentioned I sometimes in the hot Florida summer use an indoor air conditioned range where there is little reason to use any type of head cover. While there was mention of expelled rounds possibly landing behind safety glasses again it is obvious that who ever posted that has never worn any type of good safety glasses which would never allow anything between the top of the safety glasses and the wearer's forehead. I would also point out that the lighting is such that it is dimmer behind the shooting line and brighter down range and of course there is no sun.

    My favored range is not really a single range but has seven different ranges. Here is the blurb from the web site:

    "TRPC has 40 acres for our 8 ranges out in God’s country surrounded by forests. Here you will find a brief description of the individual ranges.

    The A-1 range is a 50yd multipurpose range that is 100’ wide. This is where Dodge City, our famous cowboy town is located for Cowboy Action Shooting. Also on A-1 range are the barricades for our monthly NRA Action Pistol match, a dueling tree and a Texas Star. If you have never shot a Texas Star, then you don’t know what fun really is. The Star is a spinning steel target that you shoot and knock off the target plates.

    Our A-2 range is also a 50yd multipurpose range, 100’ wide, 24 shooting lanes, with target frames at 10yds, 15yds, 25yds and 50yds.

    The B range tends to be one of the more popular ranges, it is our main pistol range with target frames at 10yd and 15yd target frames and 10 firing lanes. The B range also houses the steel plate rack and coming soon…….a steel Arcade with 14 flipping and spinning targets.

    Continuing down the firing line is C range which is 100yds and is exclusively for Rimfire guns with target frames at 25,40,50,75 and 100 yards.

    Directly adjacent to the 100yd rimfire range is our 100yd centerfire range, D range. This range has side berms at 25,50,75, and main berm at 100 yds. D range also boasts 6 new super solid concrete benchrest shooting benches. A gong is currently being installed on this range at 100yds.

    The next two ranges are E & F ranges, they are 200yds and 300yds with 8+ firing lanes each. Each of these ranges has a bench rest for shooting and a gong also being installed on the 200 yard range.

    Last but not forgotten, G range, more commonly referred to as the…….trap range. The trap range is open the public every Thursday,Saturday and Sunday.

    All ranges have a covered firing line on a concrete slab and have high velocity fans with the exception of A-1 range. The 200 & 300 range are covered but not paved

    The clean air conditioned handicap bathrooms are centrally located between B & C range."

    One of the key points not in the blurb is that the firing lines are oriented East/West to minimize any problems with the sun. Close to the end the blurb notes "All ranges have a covered firing line on a concrete slab and have high velocity fans with the exception of A-1 range." So shooters are always in the shade under a covered firing line which means head covers are not needed to deal with the sun.

    On the other hand I would note that some events like action pistol matches are run in the sun and require the shooter to move from one barricade to the next before shooting at the target and almost every one competing in those events wears a baseball cap. But only one shooter at a time is competing and before the timed start one of the range officers completes a safety check of the shooter and the shooter's weapon. While I don't shoot trap I also see some trap shooters wearing baseball caps when out in the open.

    Bottom line is that while most ranges/events are done under a covered firing line with no need for any head cover there are a couple of exceptions. But in those two cases a range officer conducts a safety check on the individual before they advance to the shooting line.

    1. "While there was mention of expelled rounds possibly landing behind safety glasses again it is obvious that who ever posted that has never worn any type of good safety glasses which would never allow anything between the top of the safety glasses and the wearer's forehead."

      The person who posted that has an NRA RSO certification and years of experience running ranges full of people, and was speaking from first hand experience 🙂

      But don't take his word for it. From the first page of results searching for "range hat brass between glasses":

      "A hot empty case ejects from your pistol, bounces off the lane divider and right back at you. Sometimes it hits you and caroms off. Sometimes it finds its way between your glasses and your cheek (ask me how I know)."

      1. Another:

        "Wear a cap or hat with a front BILL (like a BASEBALL CAP as shown) or brim to lessen the chance of flying brass hitting you in the face"

      2. Another:

        "Shooters and spectators must wear long pants, long sleeve shirts, a cap or hat with a brim, and closed toed shoes."

      3. Reading comprehension is your friend. What I posted was that "good safety glasses" would prevent expelled shell casing from landing between the glasses and your face.

        As I previously posted about ear protection there is top tier stuff (priced as top tier stuff) that is much better than what you can pick up at Dollar Tree. Even some of the higher priced eye and ear protection is not really up to snuff.

        I know plenty of NRA qualified range officers who tell horror stories about peeps in wife beater shirts (or women with low cut blouses) who have had hot shell casings get inside their clothes. On the other hand I tend to shoot in what I will call military style utilities with gloves and a boonie hat; as well at tactical boots (Bates 5.11 stuff mostly).

        This is why I mentioned making the job of the range officer easier is a good idea. When I show up in full tactical gear with a top tier gun bag in one hand and a range bag with tools in the other the range officer looks at me in a different light than when someone shows up in a hijab and flip flops.

        1. "As I previously posted about ear protection there is top tier stuff (priced as top tier stuff) that is much better than what you can pick up at Dollar Tree. "

          Indeed, I own some high end electronic muffs.

          "Even some of the higher priced eye and ear protection is not really up to snuff."

          I'm not sure what you meant when you said "any type of good safety glasses which would never allow anything between the top of the safety glasses and the wearer's forehead", but I have absolutely seen brass get behind ANSI Z87.1 rated safety glasses.

          "When I show up in full tactical gear with a top tier gun bag in one hand and a range bag with tools in the other the range officer looks at me in a different light..."

          FWIW, I haven't noticed any correlation between tactical gear and safe practices, like not muzzling people and keeping fingers off triggers. Maybe the inverse, if anything. YMMV, of course.

          1. Your comment is a classic example of the ignorance I often see posted on the internet. What I posted was that good eye protection would prevent a shell casing, or anything else for that matter, from getting inside the glasses. There are multiple designs that do this. No where did I claim there were designs that allowed brass behind the glasses; but I did imply I do not think they were good eye protection.

            For the life of me I can not understand why you continue to provide examples of poor eye ware not providing protection.

            Same goes for your experience with folks wearing tactical gear to the range. I am not saying there are not fashionistas who are more concerned with form being more important than function. The thing is at my home range such folks are quickly identified and either given instruction or asked to shoot elsewhere.

            Bottom line is there does exist good eye protection, ear protection, and tac gear that does just what I claimed. There also exist good ranges where safety measures are enforced and those who ignore safety regs are quickly corrected or removed. Maybe I am just lucky to have access to such a range and can afford to purchase good gear. YMMV

            1. If I wanted better eye protection than provided by Z87.1, what standard should I be looking for? That's the standard required by OSHA, etc.

  21. What keeps the operators of shooting ranges from avoiding "discrimination" issues by simply doing business as private "club." The first time someone presents themselves as a would be shooter, they are given the opportunity to pay $2 to join the "club" for 2 years. Would the club the be free to set whatever dress code they wished?

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