With a 149% increase in the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans recorded in 2020, members of the community are buying guns for personal protection.
“There are more Asians being introduced to firearms,” Jimmy Gong, the owner of Jimmy’s Sport Shop in New York, told Forbes. “Before, there was never gun culture in the Asian community. But after the pandemic and all the hate crime going on, there are more Asians buying guns to defend themselves.”
— Forbes (@Forbes) March 18, 2021
Gong said his sales were up 100% since the pandemic started, and that Asians accounted for about half of overall purchases. Asian Americans have also boosted his pepper spray sales, according to the gun store owner.
“They’re buying basic Glocks and AR-15s, basically for self-defense,” said Jerry Hwang, a salesman at Wade’s Eastside Guns in Bellevue, Washington.
Tuesday attacks at massage parlors in Atlanta, where eight were killed — six of whom were of Asian descent — are believed to have contributed to the increasing number of gun purchases in the community. (RELATED: ‘You Bum, Why Did You Hit Me?’: Elderly Asian Woman Swings Back At Attacker, Leaves Him Bloody On A Stretcher)
Although hate crimes fell overall by 7% in 2020, reports of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have soared by almost 150%, according to a recent study. This signals a worrisome trend, which President Joe Biden’s administration tried to attribute to a “damaging rhetoric” of former President Donald Trump.
Ying Ma, the author of “Chinese Girl In The Ghetto,” has previously noted that many of these attacks happened in “heavily Democratic cities where they did not vote for Trump in 2020 or 2016.”