By Jim Forsyth
SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A central Texas gun dealer ran radio ads advising "Socialist" liberals, those who voted for President Barack Obama, Arabs and Muslims that they need not apply for his concealed gun license class.
Crockett Keller, who owns Keller's Riverside Store, ran the ads on the radio station in his rural hometown of Mason, Texas, which is 120 miles west of the state capital of Austin.
"If you are a Socialist liberal and/or voted for the current campaigner in chief, please do not take this class," Keller said in the ad. "You have 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 the class," Keller said in the radio ad.
Keller said he is simply exercising his freedom to teach concealed handgun license classes to whomever he wants. He said he has received "hundreds" of calls from Americans who support his stance.
"I should have had the class next week instead of this week, I could have had 500 people in it," Keller said on Friday.
He said he was not joking when he put the lines about socialists in his commercial, because he knows some socialist liberals and did not want them to enroll in the class.
"I didn't want them to show up and have to tell them no," he said.
The Texas Department of Public Safety, which oversees the concealed carry program, and licenses instructors, said in a statement that "certified instructors are required to comply with all applicable state and federal statutes, and conduct by an instructor that denied service to individuals on the basis of race, ethnicity, or religion would place that instructor's certification at risk."
The department said it had begun an investigation into the matter, and would "take appropriate administrative action based on the findings of from the investigation."
Adults in Texas are allowed to carry concealed weapons if they have completed a class such as the one Keller teaches.
Keller wrapped up his radio by saying: "With no shame, I'm Crockett Keller. Thank you, and may God bless."
(Editing by Greg McCune)