By Teryn Payne, jetmag.com
An increase in violent incidents directed at people of color since the presidential election has spurred an increase in gun purchases among African-Americans.
Gun store owners tell NBC News, the number of Black and minority customers they’ve seen has quadrupled since the election. In addition, Black gun groups are reporting double the normal number of attendees at their meetings.
Reports say that there were 2.3 million FBI background checks for gun sales in October, an all-time high. November is projected to be even higher. Although gun companies saw an increase before the election — based on fears a Hillary Clinton triumph would increase firearm sales— shares in gun companies surprisingly decreased as much as 20 percent after Trump’s win.
Trump’s victory has ignited more public displays of racism. More than 700 instances have already been reported to the Southern Poverty Law Center since November 8, and LGBT hotlines are at an “all-time peak” in calls reporting harassment.
Gun store owners are saying that although sales are increasing overall, they are surprised by the amount of minority customers they have received. “They thought Trump won’t win,” said Earl Curtis, owner of the Blue Ridge Arsenal in Chantilly, Virginia. He says most of his customers are first-time shooters looking to get a handgun to protect themselves from “race riots and being attacked by racists.”
There has also been an increase in Black gun owner groups, led by African-American women. They have reported receiving an skyrocketing number of emails all over the country from concerned minorities looking to learn more about gun safety, training, and firearm access.
Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association says the racial climate that has emerged around Donald Trump’s presidential victory has created a new type of cautiousness. “Most folks are pretty nervous about what kind of America we’re going to see over the next 5-10 years,” he said.