OKTAHA, Okla. – A man at a small-town Oklahoma gun range and survivalist shop that declared itself “Muslim-free” accidentally shot himself this week.
Terrence Veninga, 57, told The Tulsa World that he was at the Save Yourself Survival and Tactical Gear store in Oktaha Tuesday when his old Colt .45-caliber revolver went off, sending a bullet into his arm.
“Somehow the loop that goes over the hammer on my .45 Long Colt got brushed, and (the gun) fell and went off,” Veninga told The Tulsa World. “(The bullet) was about 4 inches from my (right) elbow.”
Veninga said he will likely need several surgeries to repair his “shattered” right arm.
Muskogee County Sheriff Charles Pearson said Veninga appeared to be one of a handful of self-identified “patriots” who were reportedly guarding the store after the owners started receiving death threats after posting a “Muslim-free” sign.
However, owners of the gun store stated Veninga was not guarding the store. Instead, they say he is a friend who went to the store to help fix a door.
Last week, the store made national headlines after posting a controversial sign in their window that read, “This privately owned business is a Muslim free establishment, we reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.”
Sheriff Pearson says his office is investigating the threats made against the owners.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations says several businesses have declared themselves “Muslim-free” and that it has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate some for possible civil rights violations.