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Tired of living in fear, some Latinos are buying guns to feel more safe

August 1, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

After overhearing constant racist and anti-immigrant comments made by his neighbors, Tony Martinez said he knew he needed to find a way to feel safer.

In the first six months after the shooting in El Paso, Rafael Cedillo, the owner and instructor of a firearm safety business in the city, said more than 400 people signed up for his courses.

The majority of Cedillo's students, who are Hispanic or Latinos, told him that "they wanted to protect themselves and their family," the 46-year-old said.

The pandemic has made it difficult to hold as many classes as usual, but Cedillo said he is still getting calls constantly from people interested in his firearms courses.

"The El Paso shooting just kind of solidified in my decision and increased my participation (in the organization)," Zapata said, adding that he is also now inspired to train marginalized people in firearm safety.

While some in the Hispanic community in the US have said they purchased firearms in recent months, there are still generally mixed feelings about gun ownership and gun control.

Nearly 70% of all Hispanic or Latino voters say they agreed that gun laws should be stricter than they are, according to a survey conducted in December by the Pew Research Center.

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