Most people familiar with these matters understand that the gun control movement was rooted in racism. Despite attempts by hard leftists like those at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to convince the American public that the roots of the creation of the Second Amendment are racist, history clearly demonstrates that the first gun control laws were specifically designed to prevent black Americans from obtaining firearms.
But one of the issues that is not highlighted nearly enough is the fact that gun control laws never actually stopped being racist. What the gun-grabbing crowd won’t tell you is that in many major cities with high black populations, the gun laws are very much prohibitive against black and brown Americans.
This issue was highlighted recently in an amicus brief that was filed in a Supreme Court case. The brief was filed by an organization called The Black Attorneys of Legal Aid in the case of New York Rifle & Pistol Association v. Corlett. The plaintiffs in the case argue that New York’s system for issuing permits to carry guns is unconstitutional. Liberty Nation’s Scott Cosenza explained:
The state may issue permits to qualified people, but it doesn’t have to. The final call on whether Empire State applicants are issued a license or permit depends on whether a state or county employee thinks it’s a good idea.
The amicus brief points out that the way New York has implemented its licensing scheme has discriminated against black and brown Americans. The organization explains:
For our clients, New York’s licensing regime renders the Second Amendment a legal fiction. Worse, virtually all our clients whom New York prosecutes for exercising their Second Amendment right are Black or Hispanic.
New York enacted its firearm licensing requirements to criminalize gun ownership by racial and ethnic minorities. That remains the effect of its enforcement by police and prosecutors today.
I recently had a conversation for my podcast with Amy Swearer, a lawyer working with the Heritage Foundation. She focuses primarily on the Second Amendment and preserving the freedoms it protects. She further highlighted how some states have a similar policy to New York:
New York is one of a handful of States, including California, Maryland, where they essentially say ordinary law-abiding citizens do not have a right to carry firearms outside the home. You have to apply for a permit. And there’s what’s known as a good cause requirement. So the police have sole discretion as whether or not you’ve shown sufficient good cause, which is never just I’m generally afraid for myself and would like to defend myself in public.
Swearer also discussed how gun control laws in Washington, D.C. essentially ensure that only well-to-do residents – who are mostly white – are able to obtain permits to carry firearms. She said:
It took me about six or $700. It took me about six months of processing from start to finish. I had to take several days off work because you have to do range training at the time, this pre-coronavirus you have to turn in the paperwork in person. So I had to take several half days off work to go do the range training because there’s no ranges in DC. So if you don’t have a car, good luck. You have to get down to Northern Virginia and all of these things.
She continued, noting that while the process was “inconvenient” for her, it wasn’t quite as prohibitive as it would be for a black resident. She explained:
It was very inconvenient for me, but I wasn’t sitting there going, well. Do I get my gun permit or do I pay my rent this month? And I’m also not sitting there in some of the more dangerous parts of DC going well, it is dangerous for me to walk out my door. I’m very blessed to live in a very safe neighborhood and work in a place where I’m not regularly thinking about that. But you’re right. That overwhelmingly disproportionately that the people who are affected by that are poor people of color living in the most dangerous neighborhoods.
This is only a small sampling of the laws Democrats have championed that have made it more difficult for black and brown people to obtain firearms. It has created a situation in which minorities living in high-crime areas have to purchase guns illegally in order to defend themselves.
Indeed, it is a common belief that those who obtain illegal firearms are doing so to engage in gang violence. But most often, these individuals are getting them for self-protection. They figure the risk of catching a possession case is not as dangerous as being unarmed if an assailant attempts to harm them.
The Democrats are essentially championing legislation that disarms the part of the U.S. population that is most at risk for violence. Combined with their efforts to have fewer police on the streets, it is easy to see that the left does not care about black and brown people – they care only about virtue signaling and pushing measures that will end more lives than it saves. But as long as they don’t have to deal with the consequences, what does it matter to them?
If you want to hear my conversation with Amy Swearer, check it out below: