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BLACK GUNS MATTER Bringing Gun Rights Workshop To Chicago's African-American Community

As hip hop artist Maj Toure toured the country, he kept hearing the same stories of African-Americans facing gun charges because they didn't know they were supposed to, for example, have a concealed carry permit.

Those stories and others about convicted felons having gun rights revoked prompted Toure, of Philadephia, to create the grass-roots organization Black Guns Matter and take his message of gun rights and firearms education to African-American communities all over. That includes Chicago, where he's spending a month doing outreach and a training session this weekend.

While the workshops have covered a range of topics, Saturday's training session in Chicago will be geared toward convicted felons and their families. While experts say it's difficult for convicted felons to have their gun rights restored, Toure hopes Saturday's session might spark a conversation about what could be done to change that, particularly for those convicted of nonviolent offenses.

"I personally believe that when you do your time, all your rights should be restored," he said.

See Also
Black Guns Matter: Maj Toure History Lesson
The
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulford_Act Mulford Act, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and how restrictive gun laws trick everyone.
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2017/02/434335.shtml
 link to www.chicagotribune.com

Black Guns Matter bringing gun rights workshop to Chicago's African-American community

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Maj Toure, of Philadelphia, the founder of Black Guns Matter, attends the 2018 National Rifle Association annual meeting in Dallas on May 4, 2018. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)
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Elvia Malagon
Chicago Tribune

May 17, 2018 11:55 AM

As hip hop artist Maj Toure toured the country, he kept hearing the same stories of African-Americans facing gun charges because they didn't know they were supposed to, for example, have a concealed carry permit.

Those stories and others about convicted felons having gun rights revoked prompted Toure, of Philadephia, to create the grass-roots organization Black Guns Matter and take his message of gun rights and firearms education to African-American communities all over. That includes Chicago, where he's spending a month doing outreach and a training session this weekend.

In two years, the group has raised thousands of dollars to host training sessions across the country, even getting a helping hand from members of the National Rifle Association. Toure's effort comes at a time when everyone from lawmakers to teenagers are debating gun control as the nation comes to grips with headline after headling about mass shootings in this country.

While the workshops have covered a range of topics, Saturday's training session in Chicago will be geared toward convicted felons and their families. While experts say it's difficult for convicted felons to have their gun rights restored, Toure hopes Saturday's session might spark a conversation about what could be done to change that, particularly for those convicted of nonviolent offenses.

"I personally believe that when you do your time, all your rights should be restored," he said.

In Illinois, those convicted of a felony cannot apply for a firearm owner's identification card, meaning they can't legally possess a firearm or ammunition. In fact, a convicted felon could face a Class 3 felony if caught with a weapon. And it's a steep uphill battle for convicted felons to get their gun rights restored, said David Sigale, a Glen Ellyn-based attorney who has worked on gun rights cases.

Convicted felons have the option of filing a federal lawsuit arguing their Second Amendment rights are being violated or they can seek a pardon from the governor for their conviction, Sigale said.

Still, it's not unheard of for convicted felons to have their gun rights restored. Last month, a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois ruled in favor of Larry Hatfield, who petitioned the court to allow him to keep a gun at home as a form of self-defense. In 1992, Hartfield pleaded guilty to a felony charge stemming from false statements he had made on forms sent to the Railroad Retirement Board, according to court records.

Toure will lead Saturday's traning session which starts at 2 p.m. at the South Chicago library branch, 9055 S. Houston Ave. Attendees, of course, will need to leave their firearms at home. State law bans gun owners, including holders of concealed carry permits, from bringing a firearm on library property.

Black Guns Matter decided to do the training at a public library as a way to bring people together at a neutral location, because some might think of guns and convicted felons as a taboo subject.

"They don't have to be nervous," he said. "It's a safe, comfortable and open space."

Convicted felons attending Saturday's training also will learn about firearm safety and what to do if they are with someone who is shot, Toure said. He describes Saturday's Chicago event as an "appetizer" for a larger June 16 training geared toward the general public that's set for 3 p.m. at 525 S. State St., in the South Loop.

A local group that advocates for gun rights within the city, Chicago Guns Matter, also plans to be part of Saturday's event, said Rhonda Ezell, the group's founder. She said Toure is starting the conversation to "overturn the anti-gun laws."

"The goal is to educate as many people as possible," she said.



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See Also

Black Guns Matter: Maj Toure History Lesson
The Mulford Act, the Black Panther Party for Self Defense, and how restrictive gun laws trick everyone.
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2017/02/434335.shtml

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JToz8Z2p_T0

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulford_Act


1960s Icon Of Civil Rights Leads House Democrats In 'Sit Down' To Have Them Taken Away
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/06/432580.shtml

House Democrats Sing Civil Rights Anthem In Support Of Taking Away Our Civil Rights
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/06/432581.shtml

There Are Now More FedGov Bureaucrats With Guns Than U.S. Marines
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/06/432592.shtml

(race / violent crime) The Huffington Post Embarrasses Itself
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2015/11/430896.shtml

The "solution" to gun violence in America
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/06/432541.shtml

DNC Platform Committee Member: "No One Should Have A Gun"
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/06/432476.shtml

Multnomah County Judge: "Dump All Guns In Ocean / No One Should Have One"
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/09/433254.shtml


How the Gun Control Debate Ignores Black Lives
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2016/06/432600.shtml
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Gun control advocates and politicians frequently cite the statistic that more than 30 Americans are murdered with guns every day. What's rarely mentioned is that roughly 15 of the 30 are black men.

The number of Americans murdered by guns peaked in 1993, then dropped sharply until 2000 for reasons that are still not fully understood. Since then, the number of Americans killed in gun homicides has remained remarkably consistent, about 11,000 to 12,000 a year.

Another constant: About half of those killed this way are black men, though they make up just 6 percent of the U.S. population. In 2001, when George W. Bush took office, 5,279 black men were murdered with firearms, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In 2012, it was 5,947.

These deaths are concentrated in poor, segregated neighborhoods that have little political clout.
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