Gun shop owners are seeing a spike in firearms purchases by Asian Americans, according to a new report, re-upping a trend that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
What are the details?
Forbes reported Thursday that one New York gun store owner says "his gun sales have doubled during the pandemic, and about half of his business comes from Asian Americans."
A shop in California told the outlet that "there's been a 20% increase in Asian American first-time customers to her store over the last year, compared to the year before."
Another dealer in Oregon relayed to Forbes that "there's been a significant increase in Asian American customers to about five or six per day, compared to before the pandemic, when there were only two or three per month."
Firearms sellers reported seeing the same trend a year ago after the coronavirus began impacting the U.S., and as violence against Asian Americans surged. But the surge of purchases — and violence — is ongoing.
According to KPIX-TV, "hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 150% in 2020, even as hate crimes overall declined."
The Hill reported that the issue is boiling over in Congress, after being ratcheted up this week after eight people — six of whom were Asian American women — were gunned down allegedly by a white male in Atlanta.
Officials have not ruled out the possibility that the murders were a hate crime, but questions loom over the motivation of the suspect who is purportedly a sex addict targeting massage parlors over the "shame" of his addiction.
Several Democratic politicians have pointed to the tragedy as an example for why the U.S. should implement further gun control laws. Folks on the other side of the argument say the spike in violence is why Asian Americans should utilize their Second Amendment rights.
Competitive shooter and Second Amendment activist Chris Cheng told Bearing Arms in the wake of the Atlanta tragedy and other attacks against Asian Americans that he is encouraged to see the evidence that more members of his community are arming themselves.
"It's a mindset," Cheng said. "It's an attitude. It's a philosophy and a set of values that says 'I am responsible for my self protection and personal defense, and I have the Second Amendment right to own a firearm; to defend myself, to protect my family and protect my community."
Cheng asserted, "That rooftop Korean mentality is making a comeback," referring to "rooftop Koreans" who protected their businesses during the 1992 Los Angeles riots following the beating of Rodney King.
"It's surging throughout the Asian American community and spurring, at minimum, conversations about whether an Asian decides to purchase a firearm," he continued. "And then, of course, many Asian Americans are taking that step of going to the gun store and purchasing their very first firearm, and I applaud that."