A local disabled veteran says he was banned from a local gun store after bringing in his service dog.
Russ Murray sustained physical injuries when his Humvee was blown up by an explosive in Afghanistan. He said that his post-traumatic stress disorder was so severe that he was afraid to go out of his home.
Then he got Ellie, a service dog. For the past year, the two have been inseparable. That became a problem when Murray visited the Clyde's Armory in Bogart over the weekend.
Murray said gun shop owner Andrew Clyde told him that Ellie was disturbing Kit, his security dog. Clyde told Murray that Ellie was not allowed in the store. Murray refused to leave and was escorted out of the building.
Clyde, who did not want to speak on camera to FOX 5, did want to point out that under the Americans With Disabilities Act, a business owner can ask a person with a service dog to leave if the dog is being disruptive or if it alters the way business is conducted.
"The issue is whether or not he was accommodated for a service dog and clearly he wasn't, and that's a violation of the law," said John Beasley, Murray's attorney.
Beasley says it's up to the business to make accommodations, even if that means bringing merchandise outside the store to show a customer.
Murray says he just wants other businesses to be aware of the law, and no matter what the situation, welcome him and Ellie.
"I was just extremely hurt. I have this animal to help me when I'm out and it really disturbing that a business would do that when she's there to help me go into public," Murray said.
Clyde said that he's also a disabled veteran and understands the needs of other veterans. Still, he says he can't allow his guard dog to be distracted to the point where she can't do her job.
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