No products in the cart.


Gun Control is Racism

By a member of the Oath Keepers Board of Directors

I once heard that “gun control is people control.” This phrase had a profound affect on me. Growing up as an inner-city black kid, I had a unique perspective on gun control. I saw how guns were used by some evil men to do evil deeds. I also grew up seeing friends and family lose their lives to inner-city gun violence. More importantly, I saw how what guns meant to the law-abiding, vast majority of people who live in the inner-city. People who wanted to live their lives and take care care of their families, and needed to have the means to protect them.

As the gun control debate rages, I have examined the country’s most restrictive gun laws and realized, as many of Americans already know, that the most restrictive gun laws are found in large urban areas. These large urban areas just happen to have the largest percentages of people of color (a combination of Hispanic, Black, and Asian).

For example:

New York City 54%
Los Angeles 69%
Chicago 67%

The effort of state and local governments to deny large swaths of their communities the basic right of self defense was appalling. Upon further examination, I found it shocking how much effort was exhausted to deny the people that need to defend themselves the most, the means to do so. That’s when it hit me, gun control is the most overt yet subtle, form of racism, and a brief examination of American History supports this idea: Gun Control is Racism.

Racist arms laws predate the establishment of the United States. Starting in 1751, the French Black Code required Louisiana colonists to stop any blacks, and if necessary, beat “any black carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane.” If a black refused to stop on demand, and was on horseback, the colonist was authorized to “shoot to kill.” In the Spanish colonies of North America in the 1700 and 1800’s, black slaves in search of freedom from their bondage orchestrated several armed revolts. This resulted in laws passed which prohibited all blacks, free and slave, from carrying arms.

It is not surprising that an examination of the pre-civil war firearms laws specifically prohibited free blacks from carrying firearms. One example is the 1834 change to the Tennessee Constitution, where Article XI, 26 of the 1796 Tennessee Constitution was revised from: “That the freemen of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defence,” to: “That the free white men of this State have a right to keep and to bear arms f or their common defence.” Then, in 1840 we start to see such ideas written into statute. An 1840 North Carolina statute provided:

“That if any free negro, mulatto, or free person of color, shall wear or carry about his or her person, or keep in his or her house, any shot gun, musket, rifle, pistol, sword, dagger or bowie-knife, unless he or she shall have obtained a licence therefor from the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions of his or her county, within one year preceding the wearing, keeping or carrying therefor, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and may be indicted therefor.”

Such laws weren’t written to prohibit slaves from carrying firearms, they specifically referenced “free negro’s.” As we moved into the Reconstruction Era we see various states and localities passing “Black Codes” that restricted the freedom of newly freed black slaves. Specific “Black Codes” adopted after the Civil War required blacks to obtain a license before carrying or possessing firearms or Bowie knives. These restrictive gun laws played a part in the efforts of Republicans at the time to get the Fourteenth Amendment ratified, because it was difficult for night riders (the early incarnation of the KKK) to generate the correct level of terror in a victim who was returning fire. The Jim Crow era of the early 1900’s gave more reason for blacks to be armed, but also birthed more statutes preventing so. Such statutes paved the way for tragedies like the Rosewood Massacre in December of 1922. A massacre that resulted in the murders of unarmed black people and destruction of a black town at the hands of racists mobs and the KKK. Some eyewitness accounts suggested a death toll as high as 150.

As recently as 1941, Florida Supreme Court Justice Rivers H. Buford (1878-1959), ruling about the state’s gun-control laws (Watson v. Stone, 4 So. 2nd 703), stated, “The original Act of 1893 was passed when there was a great influx of Negro laborers into the state… The Act was passed for the purpose of disarming the Negro laborers… The statute was never intended to be applied to the white population, and in practice has never been so applied.”

Today is not 1870 nor is it the 1920’s, and when proponents of restrictive gun control insist that their motivations are color-blind, there is a chance (although small) that they are genuine in their concerns. But it is undeniable that gun control laws disproportionately restrict the freedom of people of color. Any statute, ordinance, or bill, that disproportionately restricts the freedom of people of color, is by definition, a racist law.

When one of my liberal friends asks me why I don’t support gun control or the buzz phrase “assault weapons ban,” my answer is simple; “I don’t support, nor do I wish to perpetuate, archaic and racist laws from the 1700’s.”

Gun Control is Racism.

Greg McWhirter
Former Indiana Sheriff’s Deputy
Currently serving as a deputy in Montana

Featured Photo: Oath Keepers founder Stewart Rhodes, Dr Alison Thompson , and Greg McWhirter.
  Dr. Thompson of Third Wave Volunteers and Oath Keepers distributed solar lights to the Texas victims of Hurricane Harvey who had no power due to storm damage.

WEBINAR: Monday, March 5, 2018, 9:00 PM EST
Oath Keepers Police Experts Will Discuss Improving School Security 
and Guidance for Our Volunteers in Operation “We Got Your Six”. 
Register here. 

If you believe in the mission of Oath Keepers, to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, please make a donation to support our work.  
You can donate HERE.


Gun Control is Racism




    1. Great article and very intuitive which, as you said comes from real time experience. One only has to look at old videos of people throwing rocks at Sadam Hussein and Hugo Chavez to realize that their goal is to disarm us and therefore leave us powerless against their tyranny. We are not really free when we live in fear of thugs and criminals.

  1. The North Carolina law is little changed, it just includes whites now. Which leads me to my next observation from this outstanding article which is, that gun control is color blind when it comes from government. Government doesn’t want all guns banned ,it wants your guns banned. Government wants a monopoly on power and plans on keeping it’s guns.

    I will bookmark this post and refer to it. Also, if the author has other historical examples I look forward to a second and even third article on this vital topic. Gun Control is indeed racist, and fascistic, and communistic.

  2. When I lobbied in the 2010 era I would often testify with Georgia Carry. They were all about concealed carry at all costs but did touch the 2nd Amendment, a little, so I would sit with them and to do so meant that I would have to study the bill they were advocating to modify or rescind. It was so ironical to almost be funny. Here was Jim Crow coming back to bite Bubba in the butt and Bubba was crying about it. So yes the original “laws” on “gun controls” were biased against blacks but today’s gun control laws are biased against whites* so in that context gun laws are still racist.
    *Gun violence statistics seem to show that most illegal gun ownership is by blacks vs legal gun ownership per capita is by whites. And gun control legislation is pointed toward restriction/registration/confiscation of legally owned fire arms.

  3. Great article. We need more like this. I am 50% Cherokee plus a disabled vet. I am in Florida. We know what happened to the Cherokee. Most of the ones in the state of Georgia; who were living the same way as the whites, ended up on the “trail of tears”. I was old enough to spend two years in Nam but not to vote or buy a beer. We must fight these people in the courts. I believe we will be doing this forever.

  4. Wow ! Very interesting article. I never thought of gun control laws this way. And it opens a whole new dimension to think of. I believe that almost all gun control laws are unconstitutional. I also believe that only a free society can have armed citizens and only an armed society can be free. I’m not saying that all citizens should go out and buy a gun. I am saying that if we truly had this freedom, the home robber, the highway robber, etc. would not know who is armed and not. Therefore, not only is the armed citizen protected but his / unarmed neighbor is too. The criminal would assume that all citizens are capable of protecting themselves by arms. More guns equal more freedom and less guns equals tyranny.

  5. Accurate comment. But then, the laws they are trying to pass these days are against ALL good people The intent is the same. It is just that now they are going to enslave us all.

  6. Excellent article, with which I agree completely. The Second Amendment was not provided to protect us from attacking deer, but from inappropriate government agents…

  7. The NRA is the nations oldest civil rights organization and it has never been needed more than now. The 2nd Amendment is the only reason the 1sr Amendment still stands and that is worth fighting for folks. Arm and ammo up and stand against the attempted overthrow of our free republic. The progressive left must be neutralized. By any means necessary

    1. You are correct Fred. II Propose this question to everyone when we talk about gun control, what does the 3rd amendment say? Lots of people have to look it up because its not considered relevant now a days. But I propose that the second amendment was written so you could resist the 3rd.

  8. The 2nd Amendment says “shall not be infringed”. There are NO qualifiers, such as “assault weapons”. the leftists want to enslave all of We the People, including the commoners who are too stupid to realize that they will be victims also. Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. all eventually turned on even their most fervent supporters because tyrants create opponents so they will have someone to rule over and oppress!!!!! I was already aware that early gun control laws were aimed at blacks and have written about that fact in past blog articles.

  9. Gun Control is absolutely racist! It’s also as it’s namesake implies, “All about Control.”

    One of the things that drew me toward Oathkeepers was that whole Baltimore or St. Louis deal, where they told average folk that they could be armed as well. “Shall not be Infringed” is pretty straight forward.

Comments are closed.