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Gun sales rise among Black people as they look for firearm training and education – Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia 2021-06-24 06:19:55 –

Three women will be attending a shooting event by the African-American Gun Association on Sunday, June 13th at the Range in Covington, Georgia. (Photo: Pamela Kirkland / CNN)

Deborah Roberts grew up in the family of gun owners. However, it wasn’t until March of this year that the 68-year-old boy finally triggered and bought his own gun.

“How do you feel, if not now, how the country’s rhetoric and things are mixed?” Roberts told CNN at Covington’s South River Gun Club on Sunday morning. He said bullets were ringing nearby.

It was Women’s Day at the Range, an event hosted by the Atlanta Chapter of the American African American Gun Association. Over a dozen women, including first-timers, have come out to engage in shooting, learn about the safety of firearms, and enjoy it.

All but one of them are African-American.

They are not alone: In the recent surge in gun sales nationwideAccording to experts, these women are part of a growing coalition of gun owners, who are increasingly made up of people of color.

According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, an industry trading group that compares FBI background check and sales data, about 40% of gun buyers purchased their first firearm in 2020.

Customers are becoming more diverse. NSSF spokesman Mark Oliva told CNN last year that African-American gun buyers in 2020 increased by 58% compared to 2019, more than any other racial group. Told.

“Today’s gun buyers are smashing the tired, worn-out stereotypes of who owns the gun,” Oliva said in an email. “Today’s gun owners include younger, more women, more minorities, and not only look like the rest of the United States. They are the United States.”

“They want training”

Philip Smith, president of NAAGA, said his organization “has achieved dramatic growth, probably well over 58% last year.”

“We buy a bunch of guns all over the country at the same time, every day,” he told CNN.

According to Smith, NAAGA has about 1,000 new members each month. They come from all disciplines, including plumbers, machinists, teachers, doctors and lawyers.

“They want training,” he said. “They want education.”

Black firearms experts and enthusiasts who spoke to CNN pointed out several factors that increased gun purchases among African Americans. The most important of these is the social situation in the United States, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic and concerns after the police killing of George Floyd last year.

Mark Major, owner of 2-Swords Tactical Defense, a store in Lithonia, Georgia, said he wasn’t surprised by the increase in purchases among African Americans.

“Whenever there is social unrest or when people are worried about their safety, something like a light bulb goes out when they realize that they may not be able to wait for the police,” he said. Told.

He said that about 90% of major customers are black. At the moment, most are new firearms and many are women. He told CNN that they came to his store east of Atlanta and asked which guns were right for them, how to use them and how to store them safely.

“There are many beginners who are really interested, really want to know, and are serious about protecting themselves and their families,” said Major.

“You have the right to Article 2 of the Constitutional Amendment.”

Smith also acknowledged the “maturity process within the black community” for the surge in purchases.

“The story is changing,” he said.

Previously, he said, black gun owners, or anyone interested in buying a gun, might be worried about certain stigma. Five years ago, a Google search for the words “black” and “gun” would result in a “gangster” with a tattoo of “burned teeth,” Smith said.

“It’s not wrong in itself, but if it’s our big picture, it’s bad,” he said. “Now blacks are starting to understand. It’s okay to have a gun.”

However, Smith admitted that Blackgun owners have a “set of different rules.” NAAGA supports law enforcement agencies, but the same is true for interactions with law enforcement agencies.

Smith pointed out the deadly shooting of a black man, Philland Castile, who was deadly shot in Minnesota in 2016 after informing police officers that he had a gun in his car while transportation was stopped. ..

Was an officer Later acquitted of manslaughter In the shooting, he testified that he had fired because Castile, who was allowed to carry, claimed to have placed his hand on the gun instead of a purse or ID card. Castile’s fiancé testified that he was reaching for his license and registration.

Castile’s death caused Smith to have a broken heart, he said. But that shouldn’t prevent people from buying guns and getting an education if they want, he said.

“You can’t sit down and let someone dictate your reality and give you their values,” he said. “If someone feels uncomfortable with you having a gun and you are legal and do everything you need to do, that’s their problem.”

“You have the right to the Second Amendment to the Constitution,” Smith said.

Members of the African-American community are approaching that goal, Major said. “We are beginning to understand that we can protect ourselves, and there are ways to avoid it,” he said.

Carla Russell, who returned to Covington’s range, said that picking up a gun would give her a sense of “self-development”, knowing that she had the skills to protect herself.

“I’m a black woman who can take care of myself and my family. If necessary,” she told CNN. “I don’t want, I don’t have to. But if I have to, I can.”



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