Black Americans are buying more guns during the coronavirus pandemic.
According to a recent survey by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (via Forbes), there was a 58.2 percent increase in gun purchases by Black men and women during the first half of 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began to sweep through the United States.
“We are arming ourselves for self-defense,” Philip Smith, founder and president of the National African American Gun Association, told the publication. “We are not arming ourselves to go out and attack. We just want to live our lives peacefully with our families and loved ones and we just don’t want to be attacked.”
The industry group also says the increase in firearm sales among African Americans was the highest in any demographic during the period.
Forbes reports that racial tension is a primary cause for the spike. Background checks for gun purchases surged to a record 39.69 million. Many Americans used their stimulus checks to buy guns, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Still, Black Americans represent a relatively small percentage of gun owners. The NSSF reports that 9.3 percent of gun owners are Black men and 5.4 percent are Black women. White men make up 55.8 percent of gun owners while 16.6 percent are white women.
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