A Hudson Valley affiliate of the African American Gun Association is gaining lots of attention and a whole bunch of new members.

The Nubian Gun Club was founded by Damon Finch and Gahiji Manderson earlier this year in Monroe, NY. Since then, membership has "doubled or tripled" almost every night the group meets. The club has even gained the attention of national media outlets. Recently, The Nubian Gun Club was featured in a story by Reuters that shows gun ownership among Black people growing at a rapid pace.

Finch says the Hudson Valley group started with just "a couple of people getting together," but has now gained a solid membership base. The National African American Gun Association has also been quickly growing across the country, especially after the death of George Floyd. In the Hudson Valley, Finch says that members are coming to the club to learn gun safety, but also to prepare themselves. He says many members simply want to protect their families.

The Nubian Gun Club's website explains that the group's priorities are to promote gun education, safety and the sporting aspect of shooting. Although the club is focused primarily on the Black community, they gladly "welcome people from all walks of life." While the NAAGA has been following the footsteps of the NRA in hoping to influence politics, the Hudson Valley's club is more about camaraderie than anything else. Co-founder Gahiji Manderson says, "we're not looking for trouble, but to be able to protect ourselves if trouble comes towards our way."

Anyone interested in joining the Nubian Gun Club is welcome at one of their public membership recruitment meetings. The next one will be held this Thursday, August 6 at 158 North Plank Rd in Newburgh. More information is available at the club's website.

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