APOPKA, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Weapons maker Spike's Tactical announced Wednesday that it is now selling assault rifles "designed never to be used by Muslim terrorists." The Spike's Tactical Crusader is etched with a Bible verse that says, "Blessed be the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle." Brand ambassador Ben Thomas told FOX 35 that when they began developing the AR-15 assault rifle the United States government was preparing to send weapons to rebel groups in Syria. "When you make a rifle, you have to understand that it could be used for ill deeds if it got in the right hands."
Thomas said he sees the scripture as something of an insurance policy meant to make sure terrorists don't use a Spike's Tactical weapon. He doesn't think a Muslim terrorist would use a gun bearing a Bible verse. Asked if the new rifle was being used to grab attention Thomas replied: "If it's a publicity stunt to say, 'Hey, we've decided to make a gun that only like-minded individuals, people who share our beliefs, are inclined to purchase, then yeah."
Thomas, a former Navy Seal, said he would like to take a weapon with scripture etched on the side into battle and the Crusader is not meant to be racist. "We didn't say 'No Muslims,'" Thomas said. The Council on American-Islamic Relations of Florida sent FOX 35 a statement that read in part: "Sadly, this manufacturer's fancy new gun won't do anything to stop the real threat in America: the escalating problem of gun violence. This is just another shameful marketing ploy intended to profit from the promotion of hatred, division, and violence."
Pastor John Fischer of First United Methodist Church of Apopka said he didn't want to question the gun makers' motives, but he understands why Muslims would be offended by the premise.
"If I were them, I would definitely find it offensive and conversely if they were putting Koran verses on their guns I [would] find it offensive," Fisher said. He said a rifle is "perhaps the least desirable" place to put a Bible verse.
"It's hard for me to reconcile a scripture verse on a gun when Jesus told us to love our enemies," Fisher said.