In the Obama era, any time there has been talk of more gun control, gun sales spike. The firearms that often fly off of shelves are those most targeted for bans, such as AR-15s and other semi-automatic rifles.
With Donald Trump’s election, many gun rights activists breathed a sigh of relief. After all, Hillary Clinton was one of the most aggressively anti-gun presidential candidates ever. Trump on the other hand, despite the fact his hotel properties are gun free zones, has pledged his strong support of the Second Amendment.
But Trump’s election has already been a boon to the gun rights movement before he even takes office.
Gun sales are sharply up since the election, particularly among minorities.
NBC News reports, “Michael Cargill, the owner of Central Texas Gun Works in Austin, told NBC News he had given up on advertising to African-Americans — but now he’s seeing as many as 20 a month, and they’re filling up his training classes; along with Muslim, Hispanic, and LGBT patrons with heightened worries about being targeted.”
NBC News continued:
Black gun owner groups are seeing an uptick too, led by African-American women. They report receiving an increased number of emails from across the country from concerned minorities looking to learn more about gun safety, training, and firearm access.
Philip Smith, founder of the 14,000-member National African American Gun Association said his members are buying up every kind of gun, from Glock handguns to AR-15 rifles to AK-47 semi-automatic weapons — though most first-time buyers gravitate toward a nine-millimeter pistol or .38 revolver. He said that twice the usual attendees have RSVP’d for the next meeting of the Georgia chapter, which he heads.
“Most folks are pretty nervous about what kind of America we’re going to see over the next 5-10 years,” he said. That includes members apprehensive about protests against Trump becoming unruly, as well as an “apocalyptic end result where there’s anarchy, jobs are gone, the economy is tipped in the wrong direction and everyone has to fend for themselves.” They don’t know who might be busting down their door at 2 a.m.
The rise in minority gun ownership since the election reverses several anti-gun trends. Black Americans have been among the strongest supporters of gun control, but gun ownership among minorities has been rising over the past few years. Much of the increase in gun ownership is tied to increases in high-profile hate crimes such as the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando last summer and the Charleston church shooting last year.
This current spike in minority gun sales is likely due to public fear that Trump’s victory helps legitimize racism and bigotry, and there has been a spike in hate crimes and harassment since the election.
Gun advocates should welcome this growth of interest in firearm ownership among minorities. Gun control laws, themselves, have racist origins and were often used to target minority gun ownership. That is because the gun more than any other tool has often been the great equalizer throughout our history.
Many within minority communities understand the real reason why we have the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which is to provide a means for the people to protect themselves from tyranny.