Denver Firearm Range Thrives by Focusing on Diverse Gun Ownership

By Larry Keane

The NSSF reports that African Americans among the largest growing portion of new gun owners. IMG PCS/NAAGA

U.S.A. -( Anubis Heru did the math. With solid numbers, he just needed to provide education, training, and space for practice to a record-high new customer base. Heru launched Denver’s 1770 Armory and Gun Club, the Mile High City’s first Black-owned gun club, so the thousands of new local gun owners felt welcomed and comfortable.

“We have a huge responsibility,” Heru explained of his mission to reach an underserved community. “There’s a lot of miseducation and misinformation about Black gun ownership because it’s been shown that only certain types of individuals carry firearms, and that is the furthest thing from the truth.”

Numbers Don’t Lie

The eye-popping number of 2020 was 8.4 million. That’s how many new first-time gun buyers made a literal investment of their hard-earned dollars in their Second Amendment rights. Of more than 21 million background checks run for the sale of a firearm in 2020, retailer data suggests nearly 40 percent were buying a gun for the first time. With numbers like those, it’s no surprise the face of the American gun owner is changing fast. Women accounted for 40 percent of 2020’s overall firearm purchases.

While many in the media and antigun interest groups often drawing up a caricature of gun owners as “old white men,” the largest increase of any demographic group from 2019 to 2020 was among African Americans. Gun purchases by Black men and women increased 58 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Philip Smith, President, and Founder of the National African American Gun Association (NAAGA), understands why.

“We’ve seen a trend of more African Americans choosing to express their Second Amendment rights to own a firearm, especially for personal protection,” Smith explained in a press release extolling the need for safe firearm storage between his group, NSSF and Project ChildSafe. “Purchasing a firearm is one step to protecting your family, but it also means safely storing your gun away from children, so they don’t hurt themselves.”

The historic firearm sales numbers aren’t slowing in 2021. Earlier this month, Trish Wendt, an African American woman, left the Pittsburgh Gun Show with a couple of new purchases.

“I have one for home defense and one for carrying,” Wendt explained. “The others are for hunting. I have kids and we’re alone a lot, and it’s my responsibility to protect my children.”

Taking Ownership

The coronavirus pandemic, government shutdowns, and economic uncertainty in 2020 led off the gun-buying surge, but riots, looting, and increased community violence kept it going through the summer. Calls by politicians in communities hit hardest pronounced “defund the police.” Smith noted NAAGA saw membership increase by 2,000 each day at points during 2020. That’s their normal new membership mark for an entire year.

Cities like New York cut $1 billion from their law enforcement budget. Portland, Ore., cut their budget as well; $600 million from Chicago and the pattern continued across America. It’s no surprise that so many Americans chose to act for the security of their homes, businesses, and loved ones.

In Florida, Danielle Campbell, also a Black mother, recognized the severity of her situation and acted.

“A lot of us are single mothers…We’re learning that we can protect ourselves; we don’t have to be victims,” Campbell said. “People were being robbed and shot down in the street, so I decided I needed to take the safety and security of my family into my own hands.”

New Year

2020’s gun purchasing numbers show no signs of slowing down. Two million background checks were conducted for the sale of a firearm last month. One change has been the political landscape. Antigun politicians now control the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris ran on the most aggressive gun-control platform in history.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters President Biden is “personally committed” to enacting stricter gun control. It will be a Herculean task to get moderate Democratic senators to agree to the gun control wish list, which includes bans on entire classes of firearms. Other forces are at play, including activists pressing lawmakers on “defund the police” promises and that drives concerns for personal safety.

“A lot of people are reaching out to us, mainly new gun owners and people who wouldn’t have considered owning a gun or firearm for their protection, have been lining up to purchase firearms and access information from our website,” said Derrick Morgan, a national leader with Black Gun Owners Association.

The firearm industry will continue partnering with local gun retailers, law enforcement, and pro-Second Amendment organizations to make sure opportunities for education and training for new gun owners abound. The Second Amendment right is an American right.

About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Matt in Oklahoma

I’ll not cater to you. Your not special. Anyone who does is doing you a disservice. The rules apply to EVERYONE. I’ll assist you with physical and mental issues. Skin color isn’t one of those. I shouldn’t know your sexual preference, religion, ethnicity, car preference, call of dudy password or any thing else about you IF you are doing what your supposed to as a student. If you are doing things that promote whatever then stop because you are a distraction and a liability. I’m an old white gun guy and can’t help it anymore then you can your race.… Read more »


Ok, boomer


there are blacks who wont buy from you if you are white; prejudice knows no bounds. A friend of mine took me to his barber when things were closed the guy made sure none of his neighbors saw a white guy go in his business He was in my unit we recognized each other great catch up talk. I still go to him but only when his shop is closed or to his house (wife is nice) Imagine a black business man afraid of his BLACK customers prejudice


You are one racist ass, aren’t you? Just got to keep stirring up hate based on ignorance.

Dave in Fairfax


Go back and reread my rubber hits the road part again. Now you are acting like a bigot.

Dave in Fairfax

Will, You are misunderstanding me, I don’t think you got it the first time. It ALL goes to the actions. Bigotry doesn’t have to do with feelings or opinions, it only has to do with actions based on them. If someone doesn’t want to buy from you because you are White, THEY are bigoted. If YOU refuse to sell to someone because they AREN’T White, you are bigoted. If you are willing to sell and they aren’t willing to buy, THEY are bigoted. What you were saying about feeling more comfortable amongst people like you wasn’t bigoted, refusal to act… Read more »

Dave in Fairfax

I don’t mollycoddle anyone. Ask my relatives. It’s one of the reasons they like me so much. /sarc. Treating people equally isn’t bigotry. What you were saying wasn’t equal treatment.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave in Fairfax

Sounds like a made up story to me.



Heru launched Denver’s 1770 Armory and Gun Club, the Mile High City’s first Black-owned gun club, so the thousands of new local gun owners felt welcomed and comfortable ( you know, as apposed to all those racist, unwelcoming White-owned gun clubs that love a good hating )

Look… if it’s a must for you to be around people that share the same pigment as you just to feel comfortable and welcomed, you’re a bigot


Why? He is stating an obvious fact. The double standard on the “race” issue is divisive. Which is what the psychopathic control freaks want it to be.


Yup that’s what we’re saying- if you don’t like being around me because I’m White, you are a bigot AND racist. Let devision go- your doing just what the liberals want- keeping us separate for whatever reason. Racism is only in your mind. Every color and creed has the same right and abilities in this Country. Quit whining about how bad you have it and make something of your self.. pathetic whining is all I hear.


The words you are searching for are either African-American or black, since the late 1980s?

Last edited 1 year ago by USMC0351Grunt

“We will always hide the divine truth from them, that we are all one. This they must never know! They must never know that colour is an illusion, they must always think they are not equal.”
End Quote
-The Secret Covenant,

Dave in Fairfax

Will, Whether what he said is PC or not, what he’s stating is a fact, except for the bigotry part. He’s just stating it in a way that will stir the pot. It doesn’t even have anything to do with gun ownership. Don’t let a troll get you worked up. He’s just trying to make trouble. People feel more comfortable when they are around people like themselves. It’s not political, it’s tribal. It goes back to the earliest of times when people were barely people. Denying it may make someone sound more enlightened, but it isn’t true. It’s simply human… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave in Fairfax
Dave in Fairfax


Go back and reread my comment, I’ve amended it.

He’s been here since May of last year. His stuff normally isn’t divisive. I thought that the first part of his comment might have been sarcasm, it’s hard to tell without a /sarc. The last part seems to be his feelings on the matter, which he’s entitled to, you don’t have to agree.
He IS misusing the word bigot.

Last edited 1 year ago by Dave in Fairfax
Dave in Fairfax


You are correct, everybody is free to have their own feelings and opinions. It’s what we do with them that matters.


Of course, it’s manure! Misusing (wantonly “throwing around”) the terms bigot, racist, misogynist, homophobe, etc. IS the hallmark of closed-minded liberals, Leftists, socialists, progressives, Marxists, nazis [or whatever the hell they call themselves this week]. Don’t let them get under your skin – at least, not enough to make anyone think that the political Left has any credence or credibility… or native intelligence, if it comes down to that argument.


Then again forcing yourself to be around someone or a group of people you’re not comfortable with in the arena of firearms it’s not a very bright idea either.

Doug G.

You all are missing the fact that this comment by Yourtruth is a new comment separate from the discussion on Will’s bigotry. This person is pointing out something that is obvious in the article, not your back and forth about who you would or wouldn’t sell a gun to! If I understand it right, Yourtruth is pointing out, from the article, that black people who require a black owned gun range to feel comfortable, actually they are the bigots. Honestly, it is not necessary to take every comment personally. Nor do you need to reply to every comment if you… Read more »


It is so sad to see NRA on its knees at this critical time. It is on its knees due to a lack of leadership and ethics but that is beside the point. For decades the NRA has led the way in expanding the scope and reach of the shooting sports. Programs like Women on Target and the youth shooting programs have brought millions in to our ranks and have supported programs that reach out to all communities. National Shooting Sports Foundation likewise provides this reach on a national level. When NRA reemerges from its current troubles my one hope… Read more »


I have been a NRA member for four decades and I too am appalled at what is going on. It is time for a house cleaning along with the reorganization. It’s time for LaPierre and his Hand picked cronies to be replaced. He has been living high on the hog on NRA money for too long. NRA members go to and help push for his “retirement.” It’s time for a new start to get the NRA back on track.


“back on track” of doing what?


These people who believe the NRA is somehow doing something different today than what they’ve been doing for the past 100 years are really mind boggling to me. When people say things like “the NRA needs to get back on track” all I hear is the NRA needs to get back to supporting the violation of rights. That’s what they’ve done since their inception. Nothing has changed! Wayne has just found a way to get rich doing it! The NRA has supported, and in some cases helped write, almost every single federal arms law on the books. The NFA, GCA,… Read more »


In the comment section of Jeff Knox’s article, I listed a few things that have nothing to do with Wayne: For a very long time, the NRA has had an attitude of “we know what we are doing, STFU and send money.” Phillip Journey exhibited that attitude in another thread. The “good guys” in the NRA don’t seem to want to change the strategy. If you haven’t done it yet, go to the link Ltbdb provided above. There are 10 demands and a four stage plan to save the NRA – not a word about changing the NRA’s strategy.… Read more »


Did you include Liz Cheney in there???


She’s smart, can make a good argument, can stay on point without getting emotional, and she received an A rating from the NRA. The NRA should tell her to get out there and earn the rating or lose it.

Not voting for gun control bills should get a politician a C rating if they do nothing else.

I’m not saying I support her as a politician. She has always been part of the establishment.


Did you guys read the artical? You poodle flip out if anyone mentions black people. This is the reason why the guy opened up his shop.


That site is filled with boot lickers.

Last edited 1 year ago by Sam

All of this is no different than the necessity of the entire country needing to shun the “Special Interest” mantra and return to the fundamentals of the founding documents, where, “all men are created equal” as well as certain “inalienable RIGHTS are endowed by GOD!” The left wing, and/or Democrats and others have worked feverishly to do away with, God and we all know that we damn well better get THAT house back in order and face the music that it will take a long, long time to truly re-set this nation starting with THAT simple fundamental in order to… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by USMC0351Grunt