After Dallas, Black Gun Owners Take Stock


Professor Nicholas Johnson appeared in an article on NPR, discussing gun rights and the aftermath of the shooting in Dallas last week.

But historically, gun rights — or the lack of them — for African-Americans were constrained by institutional racism, says Nicholas Johnson, a professor at Fordham Law School who specializes in issues involving guns, race and the Second Amendment. “Those laws were racially neutral, at least on their face,” says Johnson. “But what the history of discretionary permitting showed was they were administered in a quite openly biased way.”

Johnson says going back as far as Emancipation, many black Americans have always kept guns for self defense, especially in areas where they didn’t feel protected by the local law enforcement.

He also notes that the feelings of insecurity that often come after high-profile shootings like those this week can drive up gun purchases by people of all races. “You watch the data that comes out from the ATF whenever there is one of these sorts of episodes, we end up with record numbers of gun purchases occurring during that month.”

Johnson says that’s already apparent in a spike in sales after June’s mass shooting in Orlando. He expects the July numbers will also go up.

Read the full article.


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