Permitless gun carry becomes official in Tennessee on July 1, so the Middle Tennessee Black Gun Club is training and welcoming new members on their Second Amendment rights.
The group was formed in December of last year, with James Johnson being its latest member, according to WKRN, an ABC affiliated television station licensed to Nashville, TN.
“If you’re in a situation where you do have to disburse your firearm, you want to make sure you’re on the right side of the law when you do that,” Johnson said. “So if you’re going to carry a gun, then it behooves you to know what the laws are before you’re carrying a gun.”
The permitless carry law is both a good and potentially fatal thing for the Tennessee’s Black community. On one side, the permit system prevents certain Black people from legal ownership due to its associated costs. However, law enforcement could easily kill a misidentified person.
“As we know in this country, not all laws are enforced proportionately, especially when it comes to African Americans, and so it’s really important that we understand what qualifies as legal possession, training, and usage of firearms so we can remain safe,” MTBGC Sergeant at Arms Denzel Caldwell said.
JC Shegog, a consultant and adviser to the club, thinks the club’s classes will prevent Black people from shooting the police if tensions were to rise.
“People pulling guns as a first resort instead of a last resort. You’re going to see people getting shot by the police because they don’t know what to do when they come in contact with police because they haven’t been trained; they haven’t attended classes,” Shegog said.
For president Tanea McClean, she believes there needs to be a cultural reevaluating with it comes to gun ownership and safety.
“Culturally, over time we’ve been more taught to stay away from guns: ‘Guns are dangerous, don’t play with that.’ Where we just need to go into it more about ensuring people understand how to handle it properly, how to be safe with i,t and how to use it in a self-defense situation,” McClean said.