Last October, Hunter, a special police officer, went to the range one Monday to practice shooting. Monday's have long since been 'Ladies Day" at the range, even being prominently advertised on the businesses website calendar
. "All unescorted ladies will receive free range time" the calendar reads
. The range also has "Couple's Day" on Wednesday and "Parent/Child Day" on Fridays, each promotion advertising free or half price range time. Hunter apparently has either not visited the website, or never looked at the events calendar, because when he arrived and had to pay $15 for use of the range while the women behind him got in free, he complained, saying it was reverse sexism.
to Hunter's attorney, Jimmy Bell,
"They told him he had to pay $15, he said, fine, he paid the money." He then asked why he had to pay and the women didn't. He was told because they're women, and you don't fit the criteria."
Hunter took his complaint to the Prince George's Human Relations Commission, who agreed the range was breaking the law. According
to gun range President Carl Roy,
"He's opened up a bag of worms with this decision. If what we are doing is illegal, then so are discounts for seniors, children, and the military. I don't see anything discriminatory about it. It's a promotion that we run, just as any other business is entitled to run a promotion."
The controversy begs the question, what about special promotions at other businesses. Many night clubs and bars have "ladies night" where ladies do not have to pay the cover charge or get discounted drinks. Any number of business give special discounts to active duty military personnel. Many athletic teams will give discounted or free tickets to scout groups, youth athletic teams, and church groups to name a few. If Maryland Small Arms Range is indeed breaking the law and being discriminatory in their business practices, aren't these other businesses doing the same? Will corporations like Kroger have to do away with the "Senior Day" promotion? Will "Ladies Night" at the night club become a thing of the past?
As Tim Goode, a gun range user, said
"Guys are going to pay to go where the ladies are, so if they get in for free, that's going to influence us to come out."
I can't help but wonder if Mr. Hunter will try and sue a bar because there are not enough women attending because the bar had to do away with its ladies night promotion.