NAAGA President Tells Senate Judiciary Committee 21st Century Gun Control is a Redo of 19th Century ‘Black Codes’

Philip Smith, founder and president of the National African American Gun Association, testifies during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Wednesday, July 20, 2022. Democrats are pushing to limit access to assault weapons on two fronts today amid unrelenting mass shootings, which party leaders say now …
(Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

National African American Gun Association (NAAGA) president Philip T. Smith spoke before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday and told them that 21st century gun control is a throwback to 19th century “black codes.”

Smith told the committee that NAAGA is a “pro-2A, pro-constitutional carry, and a pro-black firearms organization with no apologies.”

He made clear he sees himself as someone who speaks for black Americans who own guns, as well as those who were never allowed to do so.

Smith recalled “black codes” that were used throughout the post-Civil War South to prevent black Americans from owning guns and being able to defend themselves. He said, “The goal of these laws was to keep the black community under control and defenseless.”

Selling A Freeman To Pay His Fine: Copy of an illustration showing a free black man being sold to pay his fine, in Monticello, Florida, 1867. The sketch illustrates events which happened under the Black Codes, a series of laws passed by Southern states. (Interim Archives/Getty Images)

He said, “Today, in 2022, restricting American citizens from purchasing firearms has the same effect as the black codes of 1865. The end result is people, especially black folks, are unable to secure a gun, which leaves them vulnerable. To me, that is unacceptable and un-American.”

Smith also highlighted surging gun ownership among black women, saying, “Black women are coming, and they are coming in large numbers. Currently they are the fastest group of new gun owners in the United States and I’m proud to say they are the backbone of the National African American Gun Association.”

Never before have so many black Americans had guns. It is estimated that at least 14 million currently have firearms in their homes.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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