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Gun ownership among black Americans surged 58% in first half of 2020

Gun ownership among black Americans surged in the opening six months of 2020, as racial tensions boiled over nationwide and the coronavirus pandemic ravaged across the country.

So far in 2020, 18.6 million guns have been sold, setting a ‘record firearms sale pace’ according to a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

And black Americans are a big reason behind the surge, with the largest firearms sale increase coming from black men and women, whose gun purchases increased 58.2 percent between January and June.

Overall, Black men made up 9.3 percent of all firearms sales while Black women accounted for 5.4 percent during the period.

Wanda James, co-owner of the 1770 Armory and Gun Club in Denver, Colorado, told Fox News she believes it’s the state of American politics that’s driving gun ownership up among black Americans.

‘We are definitely embracing our 2nd Amendment,’ she told the network. ‘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.’

Wanda James, co-owner of the 1770 Armory and Gun Club (above) in Denver, Colorado, told Fox News she believes it’s the state of American politics that’s driving gun ownership up among black Americans.

The on-going coronavirus pandemic and the high profile police killings of several black Americans – such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McLain – have also fuelled insecurity and fear.

Armed members of the "NFAC" march through downtown Louisville, Ky., toward the Hall of Justice on Saturday, July 25

The on-going coronavirus pandemic and the high profile police killings of several black Americans – such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McLain – have also fuelled insecurity and fear.

So far in 2020, 18.6 million guns have already been sold, setting a ‘record firearms sale pace’ according to a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. And black Americans are a big reason behind the surge, with the largest firearms sale increase coming from black men and women, whose gun purchases increased 58.2 percent between January and June this year

So far in 2020, 18.6 million guns have already been sold, setting a ‘record firearms sale pace’ according to a report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. And black Americans are a big reason behind the surge, with the largest firearms sale increase coming from black men and women, whose gun purchases increased 58.2 percent between January and June this year

The on-going coronavirus pandemic and the high profile police killings of several black Americans – such as George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Elijah McLain – have also fuelled insecurity and fear.

Chanel Tillman, vice commander at the Black Gun Owners Association, said he believed that such events are the main cause behind in the increase in demand.

‘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 is the first black-owned gun club in Denver. James said they took the named from Crispus Attucks, a black man who was the first American killed in the Revolutionary War on March 5, 1770.

Situated in the historically black neighborhood of Five Points, the club offers classes including concealed carry and home defense and has a state-of-the-art range that uses laser cartridges for dry firing instead of live ammo.

‘Given the place in which we are in America — politically, racially — African Americans don’t feel safe anymore,’ James told the Denver Post. ‘It’s a sad scenario when people don’t feel comfortable in their homes, walking down the street or in their cars.’

Derone Armstrong, pastor of Leake Memorial Church in Aurora, is leading the charge to form a new local chapter of the Black Gun Owners Association.

Armstrong said members of his church spoke about arming themselves after the Charleston, the 2015 shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine people, including the pastor, were killed by white supremacist, Dylann Roof.

‘When the pandemic hit, it escalated. People became fearful because they didn’t know what was going to happen with the hoarding,’ Armstrong said. ‘And then with the rise of racism and white supremacy, people want to protect themselves.’

Co-owner Shawn McWilliams meets with students who participated in a pistol and safety class at 1770 Armory and Gun Club, Colorado's first Black-owned shooting range

Co-owner Shawn McWilliams meets with students who participated in a pistol and safety class at 1770 Armory and Gun Club, Colorado’s first Black-owned shooting range

A report released earlier this week by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF) shows that soaring gun sales have continued to maintain their ‘record pace’, ahead of the presidential election

A report released earlier this week by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF) shows that soaring gun sales have continued to maintain their ‘record pace’, ahead of the presidential election

With black gun ownership soaring across the country, Michigan in particular has reported experiencing a spike.

According to Bridge Michigan, scores of African Americans are purchasing guns for the first time, fueled by fears for their safety and the rise of far-right groups such as the Proud Boys, who President Donald Trump told to ‘stand back and stand by’ during the presidential debates.

‘Since the new president, there’s been an uptick in people being very confrontational about race relations,’ Sharon Spivey-Oliver, 54, told the outlet last month.

Spivey-Oliver described how she and her husband first bought guns back in April when the COVID-19 outbreak took hold of the country.

‘I’ve never had the experiences I’m having now. Neither one of us has ever owned guns before, but just seeing the climate made us have to think about the safety of our home.’

In total there has been more than 759,000 gun sold in Michigan this year, vastly overtaking 2019’s figure of 492,171 with three months still to go.

Describing the record number of gun sales this year, she added: ‘I believe that some people are preparing themselves for some type of race war.’

Overall, Black men made up 9.3 percent of all firearms sales while Black women accounted for 5.4 percent during the first half of 2020

Overall, Black men made up 9.3 percent of all firearms sales while Black women accounted for 5.4 percent during the first half of 2020

In its report of gun sales this year, the NSSF revealed that gun ownership was also up 51.9 percent among white Americans, 49.4 percent among Hispanic Americans and 42.9 percent among Asian Americans in the first six months of 2020.

A report released earlier this week by Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting (SAAF) shows that soaring gun sales have continued to maintain their ‘record pace’ ahead of the presidential election.

An estimated 1.9 million firearms were sold in October this year, a 65 percent surge from the same month in 2019.

NSSF spokesperson Mark Oliva said Monday that every month since March ‘has been the strongest of that month ever recorded’ when it comes to firearm sales.

‘This much is clear as we head into Election Day. Americans of all political persuasions are exercising their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms and doing so in record numbers,’ Oliva said in an emailed statement.

‘This hasn’t been a phenomenon of just red states, but also blue states. Never before have so many Americans chosen to exercise their right to firearm ownership, including the estimated 6.9 million who purchased a firearm for the first time this year.’


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