Armed Citizens Protect Oktaha Family After Threats Over Controversial Sign
OKTAHA, Oklahoma - A group of armed private citizens says it's protecting the owners of an Oktaha survivalist shop and gun range after they put up a sign saying their store is a "Muslim-Free Establishment."
The store owners said their family started receiving threats when the sign controversy became a global story.
Now the group is providing security for the owners and the business, saying their constitutional rights came under attack. Some of the volunteers are even camping out overnight
Men with rifles and guns stand guard over the survival and tactical gear store in Oktaha.
The armed group of veterans and private citizens said they're volunteering their time to protect the Mayhorn family, who said they were threatened for putting up a "Muslim-Free Establishment" sign on the front door.
"We have been threatened, and my family comes first, before anything else. So my customers understand the need for the extra security because they don't want anything to happen to us. They want us here, they want to protect us," Nicole Mayhorn said.
Opponents - like the Council on American-Islamic Relations - said banning Muslims from the store is illegal and discriminates against an entire class of people because of their religious beliefs.
"Well we're a little overwhelmed over the whole thing, to be honest, both the positive and the negative. Like I said, it's been crazy, a little hurtful, I won't lie, it does hurt my feelings a little bit, but it comes with it," Nicole Mayhorn said.’
She said she's received threats from Germany to New Zealand over the sign, and Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said his deputies are monitoring the situation in Oktaha.
"Everybody is entitled to say what they feel, and the other people are entitled to tell them how they feel about their opinion. When that gets out of control, that's where we come in. The only thing that I ask, if they are true Patriots, that when the threats do come or the undesirables do show up, call us and allow us to handle it," he said.
When asked if they’ve thought about taking the sign down, Nicole said, “We've considered it, but we will not. We stand with what we believe in, this is our right."’
Pearson said his detectives are taking the threats seriously and are handing the information over to federal authorities.