A black gun rights group announced last week that it experienced an unprecedented rise in membership in the hours following George Floyd's death on May 25 in Minneapolis.
Philip Smith, founder of the National African American Gun Association, said, "2,000 people joined NAAGA in 36 hours after George Floyd," according to an Ammo.com news release. "That broke our records. We're getting a ton of folks from all over."
The news release attributed the rise in enrollments to "growing concerns over personal safety in the African American community" that are "leading many to take action."
The rise in memberships was also reflected in Ammo.com's sales to NAAGA members. On May 26, the day after Floyd's death, the online ammunition retailer reported a 260% rise in online traffic from members of the group.
In the two weeks following Floyd's death, Ammo.com reported a 425% revenue increase from NAAGA members in comparison to the two weeks prior.
NAAGA, which started in 2015 with just one chapter and 30 members, now has 112 chapters across the country and about 40,000 members — with more than 10,000 joining this year alone.
On its website, NAAGA describes itself as "a pro 2nd amendment organization focused on the preservation of our community through armed protection and community building" with the long-term goal of having "every African American introduced to firearm use for home protection, competitive shooting, and outdoor recreational activities."
Alex Horsman, who serves as the marketing director at Ammo.com, said that "the right to self defense is natural, color-blind, and enshrined in our Constitution."
"That is why in 2017, we selected the NAAGA Scholarship Fund as one of the several pro-freedom organizations to which we voluntarily donate one percent of our sales," Horsman added. "We're proud to serve NAAGA members and to support the NAAGA Scholarship Fund in the process, which goes solely to exceptional African American students coming from single-family households."