Anthony Niosi, principal of Niosi Firearms, which is seeking approval to open.a shooting range and firearms training facility with a gun shop on Elton Street, at the April 21, 2022 Planning Board meeting.

A principal in the firearms business looking to open on Elton Street in Riverhead authored a blog for several years in which he espoused views accusing Jews of controlling Congress, posted racist opinions of Black people and pitched a fundraising effort for a Proud Boys member’s legal defense after the man had been convicted of stabbing another man during a political confrontation.

Anthony Niosi, a principal in Niosi Firearms Development, which has proposed a shooting range, firearms training facility and gun store at 680 Elton Street, published the blog “SPQR.Today” from December 2011 to September 2017.

Niosi in his blog refers to Proud Boys founder and former leader Gavin McInnes, a proponent of violent extremism, as “one of the essential resources for the thinking right.”

Niosi goes on about McInnes, whom he describes in the blog post as “an acquaintance:”

“His articulate defense of traditional values and success at illuminating the fascist tactics the militant left employs to silence conservatives has had a cost attendant,” Niosi wrote.

In a pitch to donate to “Tommy’s Legal Defense” (Sept. 3, 2017), Niosi calls Tommy Christiansen, the Proud Boys member had just been convicted in the stabbing incident, one of the “mostly anonymous individuals caught in the nascent violence of the militant left.”

McInnes, cofounder of VICE Media, founded the Proud Boys in the middle of the 2016 presidential election. The Proud Boys describe themselves as “Western chauvinists” with an “anti-political correctness” and “anti-white guilt” agenda.

Niosi said in an interview via text messaging Thursday night he does not know McInnes well.

“I met Gavin only once, I’ll guess six plus years ago,” Niosi said. “He his wife, two daughters and then infant son visited my home on Dune Rd, WHB. We had been introduced by a mutual friend and I, at that time, knew him as someone who had been on Fox TV for a number of years, basically, if memory serves as a comedic commentator,” Niosi wrote in a text. He referred to the occasion as “glancing interaction” and said, “I am not familiar with what he presently advocates.”

However, he said, “I do not mean to imply… I am oblivious to the Proud Boys as an element in the zeitgeist.”

In his blog, Niosi characterized Black people as “whining about American racism” which “I have been hearing my whole life. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 came with “a silver lining” in that “his victory would be to “put ‘paid’ to the whining…” he wrote. (“Blue Lives Matter,” July 15, 2016.)

“After one trillion dollars (yeah, with a ‘t’) spent on Great Society programs over the last 50 years the vast majority of black Americans have, thankfully, been afforded the opportunity to attain the most prestigious positions in our society,” Niosi continued.

“So what of the dregs? The militants, the multigenerational dependent, the anarchists the nihilists?

“I am beginning to think skin color is no longer the barrier to elected office or a multi million dollar network contract.

“I am beginning to think the barrier is self immersion in ghetto culture, violence, misogyny, the rejection of education, and emulating gang appearance and speech,” Niosi wrote.

He continues, offering advice to “just drop the ghetto/gang speech, clothes and attitude” because “America has evolved to the point where an individuals’ choices, not the happenstance of race, will determine his fate.” (As written.)

“AnyHowitzer, lets hope the current situation defuses before the self segregating thugs learn the locks on our front doors are for their protection, not ours,” he concludes. (As written.)

In a June 29, 2017 post titled “Run…Don’t Walk,” Niosi discussed the question of whether a person who crosses the street “while being approached by a black person” to avoid passing close to him is racist. The statistics provided by NYPD show “one should not walk across the street in NYC when approached by a black; they should run,” Niosi wrote, noting that the percentages of people arrested by NYPD for major violent crimes who are Black were disproportionately greater than the percentage of Black people in the NYC population, offering “logic” that does not take other factors into account, such as predispositions of arresting officers or focusing on arrests versus crime committed.

Niosi dedicates a large number of his blog posts to discussions of Jews, Israel and U.S. policy toward Israel and the Middle East. He is an advocate of the BDS (Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions) movement and calls members of Congress zionists and Congress and the media “Israel’s fifth column.”

He says American Jews have “dual loyalty,” meaning they are loyal to Israel as well as the U.S.

“And not to be outdone, the diaspora Jews have gotten infinite preferential treatment by claiming anti-semitic threats to their synagogues, schools, businesses, lives and personal property. Virtually all of which have been exposed as false flag threats with the recent arrest of Mr. Michael Kadar a Jew holding American and Israeli citizenships.” (As written.)

With reference to an article by Victor Davis Hanson, Niosi writes, “jew’s [sic] problem is they refuse to assimilate. Paranoid for their security (even in America, their last best hope) they hedge their loyalty and are seen as ‘Internationalists’ or ‘Cosmopolitans’. And when bad times inevitably follow good; as ‘F—ing Traitors’ with divided loyalties.”

Niosi said in a text last night he has “no generalized views on any race or religion.” If RiverheadLOCAL’s request for comment on the views he published about Black people and Jews “is designed to imply prejudice,” he said, “I’ll stand on forty years of working with all ethnic and religions, including my current business partner. I will freely admit a reading of some of my polemics clearly illustrate my opposition to any theocratic governance which is overwhelming the opinion of current liberal and University thought,” he said.

“One can be opposed to the actions of a nation separate from opposing the individual citizens of that nation,” Niosi said.

Michele Lynch, vice chair of the Riverhead Anti-Bias Task Force, said today the statements in Niosi’s blog should be a red flag for the Town of Riverhead.

“Certainly someone that makes statements like this on a blog is not someone the town should be doing business with — especially that kind of business,” Lynch said.

“These are racist and antisemitic thoughts,” she said.

The name of Niosi’s blog itself is associated with the white supremacy movement.

SPQR is an acronym for the Latin phrase “Senatus Populusque Romanus” meaning “The Senate and the Roman People,” which in ancient Roman times was a shorthand way of referring to the entirety of the Roman state.

The acronym was appropriated as a symbol of military strength by the fascist Benito Mussolini in his propaganda prior to World War II.

“SPQR” has since been adopted by American white supremacist groups as a symbol of their movement. For example, it appeared on flags at the “Unite the Right” rally in August 2017.

Niosi said he was not aware that “SPQR” has been adopted as a hate symbol by white supremacist groups.

He said he is a lifelong student of Roman history and pointed out SPQR is the title of a book by classics professor Mary Beard, which he said he happens to be currently reading.

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to restore a paragraph referencing the acronym SPQR being used by Benito Mussolini. The paragraph was inadvertently deleted in a cut-and-paste error.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.