Black Americans flock to gun stores and clubs: ‘I needed to protect myself’

Black Americans flock to gun stores and clubs: 'I needed to protect myself'

Americans bought a record number of firearms last year. Gun ownership among Black Americans is up 58.2% About this content Janice Matthews* always knew she would be a gun owner someday. She was raised in Alabama where her family members rarely left their home unarmed. Still, after more than three decades in California she wasn’t in a rush to start shopping around at gun stores. Then the pandemic hit. Matthews started hearing rumors of food shortages and noticed store shelves emptied by shoppers panic-buying everything from bullets to toilet paper. After her daughter moved out of their home, she was left with an empty nest and a lot of anxiety. “I was thinking of what they predicted in the Bible and I thought I would have to protect the little bit that I had,” Matthews, 55, recalled. So one day in the spring of last year, she waited six hours in line outside a northern California gun shop to become one of the millions of Americans who became first-time gun owners in 2020. Americans bought a record number of firearms last year. An estimated 5 million people bought their first ever gun between March and August, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a trade organization, and that number continued to climb throughout the year. Black Americans saw the highest increase in new gun owners of any demographic, the NSSF found , with gun ownership in the group up by a staggering 58.2%. Though Black Americans have a […]

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