In Philly, new gun group wants to educate marginalized communities on gun ownership

A gun range.
Photo credit robertprzybysz/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — With the rising number of shootings in Philadelphia and the nation, a new organization has quietly established itself in Philadelphia with the goal of educating marginalized communities on gun ownership.

You've heard of the National Rifle Association (NRA). Now, there's the Socialist Rifle Association (SRA), with a Philadelphia chapter

The local chapter was founded about 18 months ago and has approximately 80 members. The organizers interviewed preferred to use only first names.

"We've seen a lot of increasing violence against working communities and marginalized communities, people of color, LGBTQ people," said Joe, one of the organizers who explains the need for the group in the city.

Organizers say the SRA has about 3,000 members. They say one-third of them are from the LGBTQ community, and 10% are former military members. 

Akhil explains the SRA is not just about gun ownership and training.

"It's not just self-defense, it's community defense. Gun culture in America, it's like highly individualistic, protecting yourself from the criminals, or protecting your family from the criminals. And we really want to emphasize that this is like a community aspect, it's about being involved in the community, and the people around you," he said. 

The SRA also holds workshops for members on mental health and blood loss prevention. Branch meetings are held monthly.