SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Black Lives Matter Sacramento is taking new aim in their efforts to keep their community safe. The group is looking for sponsorships to get black community members trained in gun safety.
They are calling it a harsh realization in a world that fails to protect black people.
“We need to be armed. There is nothing wrong with it,” said Black Lives Matter Sacramento founder Tanya Faison.
For months, protests, calls for police accountability and concerns over white supremacy have been a top priority for Faison. Now she is making a new call to the public.
“Get protection in these times when we know we cannot call the police for help and where we know that we need to stay safe because it is a really volatile time right now,” she explained.
The Founder of BLM Sacramento put a message out on the group’s Facebook page asking for sponsors to pay for 10 people to get firearm training. The money would go towards anyone in the black community that is looking to sign up to learn about gun safety. The course would cover teaching everything from how to hold, clean, safely store and shoot a gun.
“I want us to be independent from the system and I want us to be educated and informed on what we are doing,” she explained.
Faison says gun education has nothing to do with their protest efforts, but she feels a necessary step for protection in situations including someone breaking into your home or attacks from white supremacists, for those who choose to apply for a concealed carry license.
“We need to be armed, we need to be safe, we are citizens here, we have equal rights here, the second amendment is our right too,” she said.
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Retired New York homicide detective Dr. Alfred Titus Jr. said the group’s push is part of a growing trend.
“Gun sales are up 95 percent in the first six months of the year and 58 percent in African-Americans in gun sales,” he said. “What I’m seeing here is the community feels like they are pretty much on their own.”
The Assistant Professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice believes more people arming themselves does not mean a safer community.
“In the beginning, there is going to be a lot of testing and trying people out. It’s going to lead to an increased amount of violence,” he said. “Two people have a gun, they may end up shooting it out when they would have normally called the police and no shots may have been.”
Titus said he understands the mindset but feels the pursuit of safety could bring the opposite reaction.
“It’s a sad state, it’s definitely a sign of the times,” he said.
BLM Sacramento said their focus is on safety and being responsible gun owners. The group is continuing to take donations and say there are already a large number of people in the community interested in signing up for classes.