Amir Locke's killing sparks outrage among gun owners: 'Black men have a right to keep and bear arms'
Amir Locke's parents Andre Locke and Karen Wells look on during a press conference at City Hall in Minneapolis, Minnesota(AFP)

Black gun owners condemned the police shooting of Amir Locke by Minneapolis police officers during the execution of a no-knock raid.

SWAT officers burst into an apartment where the 22-year-old Locke, a legal gun owner, was sleeping on the couch under a blanket with his gun nearby, and Officer Mark Hanneman fired shots when the startled man pulled off his blanket, which revealed the weapon, and other gun owners were outraged and worried, reported ABC News.

"Amir Locke, a lawful gun owner, should still be alive,” said Bryan Strawser, chair of the non-profit Minnesota Gun Owners Caucus. “Black men, like all citizens, have a right to keep and bear arms. Black men, like all citizens, have the right to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects against unreasonable search and seizure.”

Sarah Murtada, head of student-led Knock First Minnesota, told Minneapolis City Council that police unnecessarily created a dangerous situation for themselves and Locke, who wasn't even named on the search warrant.

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“A lot of Americans are gun owners,” Murtada said. “They have a Second Amendment right to own guns, and so they hear someone in their home, and a lot of the time they even use those guns for self-protection, not realizing that it’s the police in their home.”

Gun purchases for Black people have increased by more than 58 percent since November, but gun rights activists say that come with added risk, because police are three times more likely to kill Black people than white people.

"After the murder of Philando Castile, we [at the Black Gun Owner Association] began to strategically focus and educate our members on how to successfully interact with police when being stopped with a licensed firearm, [we] realize there is a double standard as to the way black gun owners are perceived and we work tirelessly to try and change that perception," said the Black Gun Owner Association in a statement.