Is the controversial subject of guns and who can legally own them a race issue?
A Virginia man, Chris King Mason, recently walked into Hopkins Gun and Tackle to purchase a gun, and learned the hard way.
In a now-viral video, the owner of the store, Vance Hopkins, can be seen refusing to sell to Mason a gun, citing that he had “reason to believe” that Mason would resell the weapon to someone else.
Mason had gone into the Mechanicsville store with a friend, but it wasn’t his first visit. He had already purchased firearms from the store, including having one on layaway. But it seems like being a repeat customer is not enough.
“He would not sell me and my friend a firearm because he has reason to believe I will sell it to someone else,” Mason can be heard saying on the video, adding, “He ain’t even know I was a regular customer. I’ve purchased a few from here.”
Hopkins then proceeded to call the police on Mason. When asked why he wouldn’t sell Mason a gun, Hopkins said he did not “have to have a reason not to sell you one.”
“I’m not gonna answer that, that’s crazy,” he added when accused of being racist. “We have to follow all federal guidelines and we’re not gonna sell you a gun.”
Mason eventually left before the police arrived. But in a Facebook post following the incident, he had a lot more to say: “I will not be racially profiled and be a part of stereotypical injustice, especially where I spend MY MONEY.”
He added: “To my brothers and sisters, do not purchase anything from Hopkins Gun And Tacke!!” he said. “Let’s send them out of business!!!”