Police chiefs usually don’t like the idea of citizens carrying concealed guns for self-defense, but Detroit Police Chief James Craig is realistic that many in his city have concealed-carry permits, NPR reports. “It was a well-known fact here in Detroit,” he says. “People didn’t have a lot of confidence that when they dialed 911, … the police were going to show up. In fact, we know they didn’t.” A Pew Research Center survey founds that 54 percent of blacks now see gun ownership as a good thing, something more likely to protect than harm. That’s up from 29 percent just two years ago. In places like Detroit, more African-Americans are getting permits to carry concealed weapons.
At a practice range near Detroit, Rick Ector trains new gun owners. He says the Craig’s attitude is a welcome change. “He’s the only one that I can ever recall who has been fervently in support of ‘good Americans,’ as he terms it, carrying firearms for personal protection,” he says. Ector thinks African Americans nationally have been slower to embrace concealed-carry because so many of them live in places where it’s still more restricted. Both Craig and Ector are black. “When you look at New Jersey, you look at New York, you look at California, D.C. and Chicago, really it’s still a foreign experience,” he says. “When you really look at the city of Detroit, we’re kind of leading the way in terms of urban areas with law-abiding citizens carrying guns.”