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More Asian-Americans Buying Guns Over Fears Of Coronavirus Racism

Ryan Ford 20 Mar 2020

While many retailers have had to close up shop or greatly reduce their hours due to the COVID-19 pandemic, others, such as grocery stores, have seen their sales surge.

Among the businesses doing brisk sales are gun dealers, who are reporting a significant increase in customers walking through their doors. And many have noticed one unusual feature of the increased business: far more customers from the Asian-American community.

Much of the rise in gun sales has been seen on the West Coast.

Facebook | Wade's Eastside Guns

David Liu, a Chinese-American who owns Arcadia Firearms and Safety in California, says he's seen about five times the customers recently, with the increase overwhelmingly concerning people of Chinese descent.

"People are panicking because they don’t feel secure," he told The Daily Beast. "They worry about a riot or maybe that people will start to target the Chinese."

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Since the outbreak of COVID-19 started spreading around the globe, incidents of racism and racist attacks against Asians have been on the rise.

Adults and children alike have reported being harassed, discriminated against, and assaulted over their appearance, whether they're from China, of Chinese descent, or merely look Asian, and regardless of whether they've ever even been to China.

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And so, Asian-Americans are arming up.

Unsplash | Jay Rembert

"The main thing I’m hearing is that they don’t wanna get jumped because of their race," said Cole Gaughran of Bellevue, Washington dealer Wade's Eastside Guns.

He said that the store's sales increased six-fold over two weeks, with the majority of new customers being first-time gun buyers of Asian descent.

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Dennis Lin, owner of Gun Effects and Cloud Nine Fishing in Industry, California, said he has seen a similar trend, with his sales doubling, and again largely Asian-Americans fearing racist attacks.

Facebook | Gun Effects and Cloud Nine Fishing

"Just people discriminating," he told KABC. "We forget, we're all people. We're in America, we're not in China."

Even those who have not experienced racist attacks or harassment since the coronavirus outbreak have been motivated to purchase a gun. One person told LAist that she had heard enough in the news, "So I have to protect my family and my son."

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Preparing for the worst is what it's all about, according to Liu.

Unsplash | Bo Harvey

One of his customers told KCAL that his wife never would have allowed a gun in their home before the coronavirus outbreak. "We think it’s the perfect time to get a weapon for ourselves," he said.

"If you’re prepared, you’re not afraid," added Liu.

h/t: The Daily Beast, KABC, KCAL, LAist

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