Several years ago, he was in his car in Uptown New Orleans when an armed group ran up and tried to carjack him. He wasn’t in a fancy car. “It was an old Pontiac. I had a clergy sticker on it, my Dillard University alumni sticker,” Stewart said, referring to the historic Black university in New Orleans. “I thought, ‘You are going to jack me for this?’”

Stewart already had a concealed-carry permit but didn’t have the gun in the car. He escaped by opening the door and punching the gas, knocking down his young assailants as he drove away — a lucky break that he worried would not happen again. For him, it was a moment of clarity: It wasn’t enough to simply own a gun or have that weapon in an accessible place. He needed to learn how to use it.