88 Tactical mixes guns, food, fitness — critics say it flirts with white supremacy

SAN ANTONIO — 88 Tactical
in Omaha is a shooting range that doubles as an entertainment venue. In addition to firearms training classes, it offers a restaurant, a 24-hour fitness center and event spaces. It plans to add
Pickleball
courts and other amenities.

88 Tactical, sometimes called a “guntry club,”
has talked about
opening locations in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas and Houston, among other places.

The company is frequently accused of using white nationalist and Nazi symbols and imagery.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center and the
Anti-Defamation League, 88 is a common white nationalist symbol.

“88 is used throughout the entire white supremacist movement, not just neo-Nazis,” the ADL said. “One can find it as a tattoo or graphic symbol; as part of the name of a group, publication or website; or as part of a screenname or email address.”

“88 means ‘Heil Hitler,’ as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet,” the Southern Poverty Law Center says in its “
Racist Skinhead Glossary.”

The company says it’s not true and that it abhors white supremacy. In a blog post titled “
THE TRUTH BEHIND OUR NAME,” 88 Tactical said the name is derived from Signal 88, a radio code used by Nebraska law enforcement to indicate a location is secure.

Shea Degan, 88 Tactical’s CEO and a former law enforcement officer, named his first business, Signal 88 Security, after the code.

“If you’re wondering why the state of Nebraska chose the number 88 for this code, you’ll have to ask them,” 88 Tactical says on its website.

The company’s logo — “88 Tactical” emblazoned on a red eagle — also has prompted discussion. Some say it evokes the
Nazi Eagle.

Twitter user @kohenari posted a
thread

“SS” is prominent on the coffee bag, which @kohenari saw as an allusion to the Schutzstaffel,
the elite security force of the Nazi regime.

@kohenari also posted a picture of a section of topographical wallpaper at 88 Tactical displaying a location with an elevation of 1488 feet.

According to the ADL, 1488 is a white supremacist symbol referring to the so-called 14 Words slogan: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

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