Store owners see surge in gun sales in Asian communities possibly linked to coronavirus fears

CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif. (KABC) -- Gun sales at some Southern California stores are surging in response to fears about the coronavirus.

"Normally, we're a pretty busy store," said Dennis Lin, owner of Gun Effects and Cloud Nine Fishing in Industry. "But this made it really, really crazy."

Lin said his sales are close to double what they would be typically right now.

"Our staff is not accustomed to this kind of rush," said Lin, who thinks fears concerning the coronavirus are overblown. "I think people need to gather themselves a little bit and take a step back."

Many customers at Lin's store are Asian. And Lin said some of them are buying guns out of fear of being racially targeted because of the origin of the coronavirus.

"Just people discriminating," said Lin. "We forget, we're all people. We're in America, we're not in China."

Lin said the spike in sales started about two weeks ago. Although his store is still busier than normal, he thinks the surge has started to drop off over the past couple of days.

He said most new gun customers he's spoken with recently were on the fence about purchasing weapons anyway, even before coronavirus fears started spreading across the United States.

"I think this coronavirus was really a tipping point for everybody," said Lin. "I think they're more worried about themselves and their families, and there is nothing wrong with that."
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