Maj Toure, a hip hop artist, noticed while he was touring the U.S. that there were a lot of stories about Blacks facing gun charges because they didn’t know they needed to have a concealed weapon permit. Now reports the Chicago Tribune, the rapper is making it a point to educate people of color on their rights to carry a gun. So the Philly native created Black Guns Matter, which is dedicated to educating African American communities across the country on gun rights and firearms education. This weekend, Toure and his organization will be holding sessions in Chicago. In two years, reports the Tribune, the group has raised thousands of dollars to host training sessions across the country, even getting a helping hand from members of the NRA (National Rifle Association). Toure’s effort comes at a time when everyone from lawmakers to teenagers are debating gun control as the nation comes to grips with headline after headline about mass shootings. While the workshops have covered a range of topics, Saturday’s training session in Chicago will be geared toward convicted felons and their families. Although experts say it’s difficult for convicted felons to have their gun rights restored, Toure hopes that Saturday’s session might spark a conversation about what could be done to change that, particularly for those convicted of nonviolent offenses. “I personally believe that when you do your time, all your rights should be restored,” he said. In Illinois, those convicted of a felony cannot apply for a firearm owner’s identification card, meaning they can’t legally possess a firearm or ammunition. In fact, a convicted felon could face a Class 3 felony if caught with a weapon. And it’s a steep uphill battle for convicted felons to get their gun rights restored, said David Sigale, a Glen Ellyn-based attorney who has worked on gun rights cases. Convicted felons have the option of filing a federal lawsuit arguing their Second Amendment rights are being violated or they can seek a pardon from the governor for their conviction, Sigale said. It’s not unheard of for convicted felons to have their gun rights restored. Last month, a federal judge in the Southern District of Illinois ruled in favor of Larry Hatfield, who petitioned the court to allow him to keep a gun at home as a form of self-defense. In 1992, Hartfield pleaded guilty to a felony charge stemming from false statements he had made on forms sent to the Railroad Retirement Board, according to court records. Toure will lead Saturday’s traning session which starts at 2 p.m. at the South Chicago library branch, 9055 S. Houston Ave. Attendees, of course, will need to leave their firearms at home. State law bans gun owners, including holders of concealed carry permits, from bringing a firearm on library property. Black Guns Matter decided to do the training at a public library as a way to bring people together at a neutral location, because some might think of guns and convicted felons as a taboo subject. “They don’t have to be nervous,” Toure said. “It’s a safe, comfortable and open space.” Convicted felons attending Saturday’s training also will learn about firearm safety and what to do if they are with someone who is shot, Toure said. He describes Saturday’s Chicago event as an “appetizer” for a larger June 16 training geared toward the general public that’s set for 3 p.m. at 525 S. State St., in the South Loop. A local group that advocates for gun rights within the city, Chicago Guns Matter, also plans to be part of Saturday’s event, said Rhonda Ezell, the group’s founder. She said Toure is starting the conversation to “overturn the anti-gun laws.” She added, “The goal is to educate as many people as possible.”