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Pro-gun group emphasizes training and teaching with Georgia’s new gun law

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A pro-gun group is addressing the governor’s “Constitutional Carry” law.

The fight over gun laws continues in Georgia. Recently, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed the bill into law that makes it legal for most people to carry a concealed firearm without a license. Supporters say it protects the 2nd Amendment, but one pro-gun group said the law is dangerous.

“We’re about training African Americans how to shoot, how to take a firearm and learn how to protect themselves and loved ones,” said Philip Smith, with the National African American Gun Association.

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The organization has grown tremendously since it started in 2015.

“We’re about 45,000 members nationwide over 120 chapters. In Georgia, I’d say about close to 2,000 -- a lot of folks,” said Smith, adding that the number continues to grow.

“Typically, to be honest, looking at African Americans in the country, we’ve not really had introductions to firearms like other communities,” he said.

That’s why they emphasize training and teaching everyone about the gun laws.

“We’re big advocates for the 2nd Amendment. We try to be very open in terms of the conversation because, obviously, some people are not advocates of the 2nd Amendment,” Smith said.

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Smith said that, although they believe in the right to carry, they don’t agree wholeheartedly with the new act signed by Kemp. The “Constitutional Carry” law lets most people carry a gun without a permit.

Smith said he has concerns.

“My fear is that you’ll have a lot more people buying guns that aren’t trained in the details of the gun. That’s my biggest fear,” he said.

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Channel 2′s Larry Spruill asked Smith if he was concerned that more African Americans will become victims of gun violence.

“That’s always something or an element that we will consider,” Smith said. “That’s something that’s always prevalent on our minds as Black men, as a Black community, because we are oftentimes the first to get hit with something. I’ll be watching this very closely, with what happens with our community.

Gov. Kemp released a statement about the new law that reads in part: “SB 319 makes sure that law abiding Georgians – including our daughters and your family, too – can protect themselves without having to ask permission from state government.”

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