Amir Locke case highlights reality for Black gun owners

Amir Locke case highlights reality for Black gun owners

Louis Dennard, president of the African American Heritage Gun Club’s Minnesota chapter: “If I hear my door get knocked down, six o’clock in the morning … I’m running down the steps with one of my firearms in my hand.” Lucky Rosenbloom was grocery shopping at a Twin Cities store when he spotted a couple of people stroll in with guns openly attached to their hips. They took their time wandering through the aisles as security guards stood nearby, unfazed. Rosenbloom knows it’s legal to openly carry guns in many places in Minnesota, but as a Black permit-to-carry instructor, he wouldn’t dream of being so bold with his firearm. “If I did that same thing, I would not make it outside,” he said. “And if I did, there’d be 20 squads out there waiting for me.” Rosenbloom and other Black gun owners point to a double standard they often feel when legally carrying their weapons. Conversations about it reignited last week when prosecutors declined to charge a police officer for shooting and killing Amir Locke as he held a permitted gun when officers burst into an apartment on a no-knock warrant. Examples of the disparity have been discussed for years: Philando Castile, who was Black, died after telling an officer about his gun during a traffic stop; mass murderer Dylann Roof, who is white, was taken into custody alive after spraying gunfire in a Black church. Black people who own guns for personal protection or leisure cannot ignore the realities […]

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