Black people are buying guns at a high record rate.
Black gun ownership has gone up 58.2 percent, and spiked both when President Trump lost his reelection campaign and when Ahmaud Arbery was gunned down.
“In times of uncertainty people want to be able to have the means to defend themselves,” Robert Cottrol, a law professor at George Washington University said. “People are worried that they’re not being protected and they’ll have to do it themselves.”
In 2019, Philando Castile's death, The National African American Gun Association saw its membership increase rapidly to 30,000 members.
“The value of these groups is learning with people who know your struggle and understand what’s happening and has been happening with this country,” said Anubis Heru, the owner of the first Black-owned firearm store and simulator range, the 1770 Armory and Gun Club in Denver.
“Black people and women of color like to come to our facility because we’re not the typical redneck with a tattoo of the Three Percenters,” he continued.
Black people represent 24 percent of gun owners, compared to 36 percent of white gun people and 15 percent of Hispanic people.
During the pandemic, gun retailers have reported a record 10.3 million firearm transactions, gun sales in the U.S. have increased by 95 percent while ammunition sales have increased 139 percent and African-Americans account for the highest increase in gun purchases of any group.
“The highest overall firearm sales increase comes from Black men and women, who show a 58.2% increase in purchases during the first six months of 2020 versus the same period last year,” Jim Curcuruto, NSSF director of research and market development, wrote in a report. “Bottom line is that there has never been a sustained surge in firearm sales quite like what we are in the midst of.”
Michael Cargill, a Black man and owner of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, Texas, says that people are buying guns to take personal responsibility for their safety. “People were concerned with people breaking into their home or breaking into their vehicle or attacking them while they’re in their vehicles [after COVID-19],” he said. “So people wanted to take their own protection into their own hands.”
The move for African-Americans to own guns appears to be a break from the progressives which people of color generally align with.
, believes the more Black people who have guns, the better race relations will be in America. “If everyone has the right mindset with a gun, that solves race issues,”said Maj Toure, founder of Black Guns Matter, a nonprofit that educates people in urban communities on their Second Amendment rights through firearms training and education. “An armed society is a polite society.”
Toure acknowledges the fact that fear makes people buy things.
“I love that so many Black people are buying guns,” he said. “If you’re racist ... and you think that one group is inferior to another, then you should be afraid.”
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