Just a week after one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, the National Riffle Association wants to help urban communities “stay safe” by flooding high-crime areas with free guns.

As Democrats in the House led a sit-in in an effort to force the Republican leadership to debate gun control laws, the NRA announced a new program: “Share the Safety.”

According to the gun organization, they’ve partnered with weapons manufacturer Smith & Wesson to “get guns into the hands of statistically under-armed Americans—from homosexuals to the elderly to besieged urban communities—and make self-defense, rather than gun control, the protection of choice for all Americans.”

How do they plan to do it? By asking people to buy a gun and donate another gun to an urban community.

Here’s how the NRA press release breaks it down:

Share the Safety is a “Buy One, Give One” program: for every gun sold at retail price through this revolutionary online portal, the NRA, with the generous support of Smith & Wesson, will donate a defensive firearm to someone who cannot afford one. Share the Safety will open its digital doors on July 4.
Share the Safety’s first focus will be residents of impoverished inner city neighborhoods who cannot afford the tools necessary to defend themselves against violence committed by the authorities. Starting July 4, a tShareTheSafety.org, qualified residents of ten poor neighborhoods across the country will be able to apply to receive a free self-defense handgun. Buyers, meanwhile, will have the pleasure of knowing that for each firearm purchased, one will be donated to an at-risk American citizen in the urban center of their choice.
“We know that the only protection from bad guys with guns is good guys with guns,” said Hensley Cocker, Program Director of Share the Safety. “Tragically, the people who need to protect themselves most—the urban poor—are often unable to afford a lifesaving firearm. We’re excited to watch the impact this will have on one of our nation’s most underserved groups.”
Share the Safety is an important next step in the NRA’s ongoing effort to spread the freedom and security that come with gun ownership, and to ensuring that every American, regardless of income, can exercise their Second Amendment rights.


So far, gun-buyers who sign up for the program can donate guns to people in Oakland, Los Angeles, East St. Louis, Houston, Baltimore, Camden, and Memphis.

Hmm…what do all of those cities have in common?

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Targeting urban communities for free guns when they are already overrun with firearms feels sick, especially given the fact that the majority of Black voters believe gun control is more important than expanding gun rights. Add to that the silence from NRA higher-ups on self-defense cases involving Black folks, like Marissa Alexander, and the fact that police are more likely to shoot a law-abiding armed Black person than a white person, and it’s hard to see how this scheme by the NRA is anything other than a plot for more Black folks to end up dead or in prison.

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