port of harlem magazine
mike jones state farm
Carrying While Black (Part 1 of 3)
Jun 03 – Jun 16, 2021
javondlynn dunagan

When Javondlynn Dunagan started her business JMD Defense LLC a few years ago, she would never have imagined that the events of 2020 would be the boost that brought her more customers. The social unrest following the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the country’s toxic political culture, and an uptick in car jackings and other violent crime in Chicago, however, caused many to flock into her concealed carry classes.

Dunagan, who is a licensed Illinois Concealed Carry Instructor, said her business increased 200 percent last year and the waiting time to get into her classes at one point was eight weeks.

Last year, the FBI conducted a record high 39.7 million firearm background checks according to statistics from the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NCIS), which checks for the criminal records of people who may be disqualified from receiving firearms.

The FBI reported a 40 percent surge in firearm background checks in 2020 over the previous record total of 28,369,750 in 2019. Much of this could have been in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the social unrest in the country.

The 3,937,066 firearm background checks conducted in December 2020 alone represent the largest monthly tally since the FBI started keeping track in 1998.

Black Americans saw the highest increase in new gun owners of any demographic, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a firearm industry trade association. Gun ownership among Black Americans increased 58.2 percent, with a significant portion of that group being Black women.

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