Reported white supremacist ties of gun shop worker cause firearms group to change meeting plans
The Nebraska Firearms Owners Association has changed the location of its annual members meeting after learning about a Lincoln gun shop employee’s reported ties to white supremacist organizations.
The employee on Tuesday denied belonging to the groups.
The Nebraska firearms association, which represents more than 10,000 gun owners, moved its Aug. 25 meeting from Discount Enterprises Guns in Lincoln to the Omaha Gun Club.
The group’s board of directors said in a statement that they heard Sunday night from a concerned member regarding the upcoming meeting and its venue: the gun shop near 134th and O Streets east of Lincoln.
Following up on the tip, the association said it learned that “an individual employed by (DE Guns) is a nationally known white supremacist with significant ties to organizations whose mission and vision are incompatible with ours.”
The board voted unanimously to move the meeting to an alternate site. The association said, “There is nothing to indicate that DE Guns as a business, nor its business owner, is connected with or supports the organizations with which this individual is associated.”
The employee in question is David Pringle, a gunsmith at DE Guns.
According to a Sunday blog post by Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska, which finds and writes about white supremacists living in the state, Pringle is a member and chief of staff of a white supremacist group, the National Alliance and an affiliated group, National Vanguard.
In a statement emailed by DE Guns, Pringle said the report was false: “I have no contact with the National Alliance. I am not a dues-paying member. I do not receive any of their publications. I have never belonged to National Vanguard.”
In the same email, DE Guns owner Derek Broman said: “As always, DE Guns has supported the first and second amendments with an egalitarian society. We do not have any political affiliation. We do not support fake or malicious news or their sources public or anonymous.”
A photo on the Facebook page of Lincoln resident David Pringle shows Pringle posing in front of a building that has the National Alliance symbol on it. The same photo accompanies a 2016 article written by Pringle on the National Vanguard site, and the National Vanguard site has a “David Pringle” tag. A June 2016 article listed Pringle as National Vanguard chief of staff. A David Pringle wrote an article for the site as recently as November 2017.
Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska’s post also included a photo of Pringle appearing with David Duke, former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, along with social media posts supposedly written by Pringle. The posts show Pringle calling for funding for National Alliance in October of last year and promoting the organization shortly after (and apparently in response to) the violence at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. Pringle’s Twitter account apparently has since been deleted.
The Anti-Fascist Action Nebraska blog post also links to a 2003 Southern Poverty Law Center article that lists Pringle as one of 40 leaders of the radical right to watch. In the article, Pringle was listed as a longtime Alaska unit leader for the National Alliance.
Pringle declined to be directly interviewed and instead relied on his employer, Broman, to provide his statement. Asked how Pringle reconciles the Facebook page, the National Vanguard articles and other statements and posts with his denial of affiliation with white supremacy groups, Broman said he and Pringle would have no further comment.
On Monday, the office of Rep. Don Bacon, R-Neb., said that the congressman, who was invited to speak at the firearms group’s annual meeting, recently learned about the change of venue and the reason for it.
In a statement, Bacon said, “As someone who believes we are all equal in the creator’s eyes, I absolutely rebuke and denounce white supremacy, white nationalism and any other form of racism. ... I thank the leaders of (the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association) for immediately taking proactive steps in separating themselves from a morally disgusting ideology that does not reflect their values and mission, nor mine.”