JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Maj Toure is on a quest to make a difference. As a hip hop artist, he’s traveled the country and seen a lot – so, in 2015, he started a movement called “Black Guns Matter.” Action News Jax Erica Bennett spoke to him via Skype on Tuesday from Philadelphia, where he’s based.
“Misinformation in any area, especially with something as powerful as a firearm, can lead you going to jail, and lead to you hurting someone, hurting yourself, so that’s definitely a problem,” he explained.
Despite the name, Toure said his group is not affiliated with Black Lives Matter. The name is a simple reference to the color of most guns.
On Sunday, Toure will host a three-hour program in Jacksonville to talk gun safety, training and law.
“At the events, we’re dealing with the law, making sure people have a full understanding of the laws in their state. We deal with conflict resolution, de-escalation tactics,” Toure said.
Marketing for the event has been strategic. Flyers have been circulating on Instagram and social media and we’re told they’re specifically targeting urban areas.
Action News Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said targeting that demographic is important and may address the root of the issue.
“Jacksonville definitely has a gun-violence problem. A lot of the crimes you see being committed here are committed with guns and unfortunately, young people,” Jefferson said.
According to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, in 2016, there were 113 homicides in the city, up from 104 in 2015. Toure believes his seminar will help.
“This has crime-lowering benefits, cultural-changing benefits. From the smallest thing to the largest thing, it’s been amazing all across the country," Toure said.
The Black Guns Matter event is being held at Embassy Suites on Baymeadows Road from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. The event is free, but you must register here:
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