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

January 17, 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The Denver Post reported Sunday that Reese’s concealed carry permit was revoked by the Weld County sheriff and he was served with a restraining order after he threatened a rival radio station owner with a “shootout” if the station’s ad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. But the Greeley-Evans school board, which passed a resolution denouncing the editorial as “inflammatory and detrimental to our district and community,” plans to prevent that.

The board will vote Tuesday on a policy to ban weapons from all school property, including administration buildings where board meetings are held, the Denver Post reported.

“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.

“Facts are facts, truth is truth,” he said, adding that he might pre-empt other programing to air the editorial round the clock.

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.

Mayor Tom Norton, a former state legislator, said Reese’s views don’t represent Greeley, which holds an annual MLK Day March and celebration.

“I find it difficult to figure out where he’s coming from,” Norton said.

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