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6 Ways Gun Control Was Connected to Racism

There have always been debates in the United States over Second Amendment rights and the ownership of weapons. In most cases in American history, only select groups enjoyed that right, while others could not. Many rules affecting Black people were influenced by laws made after Nat Turner’s Rebellion in 1831. Here are a few instances throughout U.S. history where African-Americans were denied the right to bear arms. However, there are many more similar occurrences.


In 1751, the French Black Code required Louisiana colonists to stop any Blacks, and beat “any Black person carrying any potential weapon, such as a cane.” At this time in history, enslaved or free Black people could not own weapons.

After the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the first U.S. official arrived in New Orleans to take charge of this new American territory. The planters wanted the existing free Black militia disarmed. The planters also wanted Blacks to not have positions of authority that required guns.

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