Gun sales up among minorities - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Gun sales up among minorities

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Gun sales in the United States have dropped since the election, according to data from the FBI - except among African Americans and LGBTQ.
“Right after the election sales did drop,” Alex Shkop, owner of the Guns and Range Training Center in West Palm Beach said.
Shkop said he notices the impacts politics can have on his business. 
“We definitely don’t have the panic buyers anymore,” Shkop said. “People who were afraid that tomorrow they wouldn’t be able to do it period.”
During the years of the Obama administration, gun sales spiked over fear the Democrats would pass control legislation. 
Shkop and other gun stores had stocked up for the event of a Hillary Clinton win. 
“Everybody was waiting for other outcome so everyone was overstocked with rifles,” Shkop said. 
When President Trump took office, the big run for guns didn’t happen, except among African Americans and LGBTQ.
Philip Smith, president of the National African American Gun Association, said the NAAGA saw a 45% increase in membership sales this year. He said the election drove up gun sales and fear. 
“I think racism has become cool,” Smith said. “It’s accepted now. Groups that have been in the background or the fringe are now the mainstream.”
Those in the LGBTQ community have similar fears. 
“Since the Pulse massacre last year we’ve seen an increase in people wanting to defend themselves and going out for training and buying guns,” said Rand Hoch, president of the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council. “When you combine that with the tone of the Trump campaign, people in our community are a lot more concerned.”
There haven’t been any reports recently of hate crimes against African Americans or the LGBTQ community in Palm Beach County, but the fear is still real for many. 
“There’s a racial tension out there and that’s the reason why they’re out purchasing guns,” Smith said.
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