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The impact of permitless carry on the black community

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Some members of the black community are worried about the impact permit-less carry law will have when it goes into effect on Thursday.

According to the Washington Post, black Americans are shot and killed by police at a much higher rate than white Americans. The Middle Tennessee Black Gun Club told News 4 they have been working to ease some of those concerns.

The permit-less carry law allows anyone 21 years old and older who can legally own a firearm to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.

Tanea McClean sees the new law as a positive thing for the black community. McClean is the President Of Middle Tennessee Black Gun Club and CEO of Surreal Self Defense.

"The good side of it is some people don't have to worry about the fees, the 8-hour class. But they can still participate in conceal carry or open carry in public," Mclean said. "It does work in our favor. For me, if I'm looking at the impoverished areas, those fees, they don't have to pay. So that levels it out."

McClean also hears many concerns from African Americans about the law going into effect on July 1.

"A lot of the black Facebook groups, some of the social media platforms their concern is it's going to be the wild wild west," McClean said. "Their concern is that black people are going to become targets because everyone can carry a gun now."

Another concern she shared is how the new law will affect the interaction between police and the black community.

"Makes me wonder if it's going to increase their heightened fear when they are pulling over black drivers assuming because it is okay to have a gun that automatically we have a firearm on us," McClean said. "On the other end of that, if they make it to court, more cases will get thrown out because it is lawful for them to have a firearm without a permit."

A Washington Post investigation revealed Black Americans are killed by police at a rate twice as high as the rate for White Americans.

"When it comes to arrests when it comes to the court system, the justice system, disproportionately we will be affected by that," said McClean.

McClean said they've been working the whole month of June to help address the concerns of the Black community. They are doing some of that by partnering with gun ranges such as "On Target Shooting Range" in Murfreesboro.

"They help us have access to the resources that our community doesn't have much access to. They offer free basic hang gun classes, gun safety classes. The environment is safe," McClean said. "It's very culturally comfortable, and I can't say that about a lot of gun ranges in Tennessee."

McClean said they want to counter those fears in the black community.

"It sounds like to me is training is a concern. Education is a concern and knowing and understanding the law is really the concern," she said. "So, we're taking that fear and coming in to try to educate and that is why we are so specific to the black community."

To read the full investigation done by the Washington Post, click here.

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