Radio Station Owner’s Concealed Weapons Permit Revoked After Dispute Over Martin Luther King Jr.

FoxNews, January 16, 2011

A local school board member and radio station owner under fire for airing an inflammatory editorial denouncing Martin Luther King Day has had his concealed carry permit revoked after he threatened a rival radio station owner to a “shootout.”

Brett Reese, who has been airing an editorial four times daily on his station KELS-FM denouncing slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. as a degenerate embezzler, a “plastic god” and “an America-hating communist,” is also facing retribution from the school board on which he serves.

The Mountain States Anti-Defamation League has asked Reese to stop broadcasting the editorial, which contains statements that appear verbatim on a website with links to a white supremacist group.

The Denver Post reported Sunday that Reese’s concealed carry permit was revoked by the Weld County sheriff and he was served with a restraining order after he threatened a rival radio station owner with a “shootout” if the station’s ad sales team didn’t stop calling businesses that underwrite Reese’s non-commercial station.

Reese reportedly said he was receiving threats for airing the editorial and wanted to carry his gun to school board meetings for protection. {snip}

“Timed as they are, Mr. Reese’s words demean the existence of the Martin Luther King Holiday and its honoring of not just Reverend King but of his messages of equal rights, peaceful demonstration, civility and respect,” the board said in its resolution.

Reese is unapologetic about his anti-Martin Luther King Jr. ads.

{snip}

The 40-year-old former carpenter claims he helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity in the Mississippi Delta and once dated an African American woman. He insists he’s not racist.

{snip}

Reese said some advertisers have departed the low-power FM station, which he has owned since 2000, over the editorial. But he said he is financially able to survive indefinitely without sponsors. He said he’s received death threats.

He also said that he’s not trying to become a lightning rod for debate over the holiday, which was controversial in some states at its inception. “That’s not what my push is. I think it’s important for people to discuss any issue openly, freely and without being assassinated or bankrupted.”

He’s an elected member of the Greeley-Evans School District 6 board since 2009. The Greeley Tribune began writing about the radio editorial earlier this month.

Reese had aired the editorial, which he said was sent to the station in an anonymous letter, in relative obscurity for the past three Januarys.

{snip}

Reese said a message he left at the rival station about “having a shootout” over sponsors was misinterpreted and that he’d stop carrying a gun to avoid trouble.

{snip}

[Earlier stories about Brett Reese and his criticisms of Martin Luther King can be read here.]

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