Gun ownership among Black Americans surges in 2020

In 2020, 18.6 million guns already have been sold, setting a “record firearms sales pace,” according to a report this week. 

Black Americans are a big part of that uptick: The largest firearm sales increase came from Black men and women, whose gun purchases increased by 58.2% during the first half of 2020, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Wanda James, co-owner of the new 1770 Armory and Gun Club in Denver, said the state of American politics is driving gun ownership among Black Americans. 

“We are definitely embracing our 2nd Amendment,” James told Fox News. “A lot of that is due to not feeling safe, and wanting to protect ourselves and our family in the same way that every other American is given that right, and I believe that Black America has decided to start embracing that.”

The coronavirus pandemic and recent deaths of Black Americans like George Floyd at the hands of police have spiked insecurities. 

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Chanel Tillman, vice commander at the Black Gun Owners Association, also cited these recent events for reasons for more gun purchases. 

“The current climate dictates that we bear arms,” Tillman said. “It is essential that we are able to protect ourselves, those we love and our belongings.”

The 1770 Armory and Gun Club, as first reported by the Denver Post, is the first Black-owned gun club in the Mile High City. It gets its name from Crispus Attucks, a Black man who was the first American killed in the Revolutionary War on March 5, 1770. 

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The gun club opened last month in Denver’s historically black neighborhood of Five Points. Aside from classes including concealed carry and home defense, the club also has a state-of-the-art range that uses laser cartridges for dry firing instead of live ammo. 

Exercising 2nd Amendment rights goes beyond just owning a firearm though, which is why James and the 1770 Armory and Gun Club created “2nd Amendment Tuesdays” to educate the public about bearing arms.

“We’re very proud to be able to give all people, but yes, absolutely African Americans, the opportunity to understand how the 2nd amendment works,” James said. “We’re proud to be able to train people on that.”