More Black women buying guns to protect themselves, advocates and firearm dealers say

There is an increase in the number of Black women buying guns for protection, and more are learning to shoot at area gun ranges. So what's driving this increased interest in becoming armed?

Shaquawna Langhorne purchased her first firearm last week. She thought about being a gun owner for years but said recent cases of unjust killings of Black people at the hands of police, like Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, prompted her to take action.

"I don't feel protected by those put in place to protect me, so I wanted to protect myself," said Langhorne.

Langhorne bought the gun from Mychael Waller, of MJ's Firearms in Richton Park, a certified firearms dealer and instructor.

According to Waller, Langhorne has joined the ranks of an increasing number of Black women who choose to arm themselves.

Waller said he finds more African Americans are embracing the Second Amendment.

"I feel like that is my job as a firearms dealer to let them know you do have these rights," said Waller.

And that education is what Chanel Tillman advocates.

Tillman, a certified firearms trainer, is with the Jacksonville, Fla., chapter of the Black Gun Owners Association. She owns a Smith & Wesson firearm and has been a member for three years.

"I feel a whole lot better knowing that if someone were to come into my home, that I am able to defend myself," said Tillman.

Experts say protecting yourself is empowering, but strongly advise that you use a weapon only if you learn how to safely handle a firearm.
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