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The Racist Roots of Gun Control

Tennessee has a law that has long been credited with being the start of the trend of infringing the right to arms for black people. That law specified it it was unlawful to carry a weapon with the intent to go armed, unless it was a Army or Navy pistol which shall be carried openly in the hand. And those pistols were expensive. Now, the city of Belle Meade is looking into getting rid of the ordinance:

That proposed ordinance passed on first reading Feb. 17 but has been deferred ever since.

After the board introduced the first proposed ordinance, rumors spread that the city would ban the public from carrying handguns, prompting the March website posting by the commissioners.

But as Mayor Gray Thornburg told The City Paper, the city just looked to remove the antiquated law from its books and anyone with a state issued handgun carry permit can carry in Belle Meade.

The long and short of it is, Thornburg said, we realized that we had an ordinance that a) was not appropriate and b) more importantly was very discriminatory, and so we needed to make a change.

They are looking to repeal the law that specifies open carry of a specific type of handgun. Seems the police only enforce state law anyway.

11 Responses to “The Racist Roots of Gun Control”

  1. wizardpc Says:

    I don’t approve of his tactics, but Ak Pistol Dude got results with this one.

    I still had to spend valuable time defending his actions to legislators, though.

  2. Blake Says:

    He must be related to Stacey Campfield.

  3. Number9 Says:

    Off topic, but have you seen this?

  4. Heartless Libertarian Says:

    NC law forbids “going armed to the alarm of the public” or something along those lines.

    Pretty easy to see that, back in the Jim Crow days, white folks with guns wouldn’t be ‘alarming,’ but blacks would.

    The also require you to get a permit from the country sherriff to buy a handgun, and getting such requires three persons who will reference your good moral character, or somesuch. Another pretty obvious Jim Crow-ism.

  5. Ron W Says:

    Do such laws apply to OUR PUBLIC EMPOYEES? By far the greatest danger down through history, especially the 20th Century, has been guns in the hands of governments.

    But when I carry, I carry for the purpose of going armed which is specifically in accordance with the RIGHT of armed self-defense.

  6. Robert Says:

    Don’t know about your part of NC, but here in Asheville we don’t need references to get a purchase permit. You might for a CCW permit, but I don’t have one so I wouldn’t know.

    And it’s called “Going Armed to the Terror of the People”. Yes, it is a stupid law.

  7. Ron W Says:

    But the people do need to be armed and go armed in the Terror of Crminals…and the legalized version thereof…Tyrants.

  8. mikee Says:

    My Texas state representative won’t answer emailed questions on whether she supports or opposes open carry of handguns here (only concealed carry with a permit is legal). She responds with a recitation of current law.

    Can you guess her party affiliation?

  9. Robert Says:

    I can’t imagine any better law than being able to carry a LeMat around in your hand day and night.

  10. Mike From Philly Says:

    Actually, there was a thriving black middle class after the Civil War. Many of those folks could afford the best. The reason they called it an Navy or Army pistol is that only white confederates had them.

    If someone digs into the archives in TN, you’ll see that it was illegal to sell those “military arms” to blacks.

    Alabama had a similar law where it forbid the carrying of firearms of barrels less than that of a big army pistol. I believe the first arrest was a police man, he got off when the Alabama Supreme Court created the first ‘only ones’ list. Seriously.

    If you want to see the racist history of gun control in neighboring Georgia, check this link out:

    I researched and wrote it. I came across all sorts of weird gun related stuff digging through old archives.

  11. MJM Says:

    I am pleased Belle Meade took up the ordinance. I’d like to know who proposed it, and why. Whatever publicity this gets educates the anti-gun side about the racist roots of Jim Crow gun laws and, perhaps, causes them to see gun control just a bit differently. Perhaps. Missed that story. Thanks for posting it.

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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