The senator wants to block any bank from doing business with the state of California if they do any business with customers that are involved in the firearm industry.
As Asian Californians buy more firearms to protect themselves from an increase in hate crimes, California State Senator Dave Min introduced new legislation Feb. 16 that will “cut off business with any banks or lenders with business customers that manufacture firearms,” hurting those same Asian Californians who want to ensure they and their families stay safe.
SB 637 comes after the events of hate crimes and abusive discrimination that Asian Americans have felt over the past few years. The bill, which would require banks or lenders that are affiliated with the California State government to completely block any business with the firearm industry, Senator Min challenges the concern for the safety of California residents by limiting an avenue of protection.
In recent years, hate crimes have been plaguing Asian American communities nationwide. As a minority group, Asian Americans have been a targeted group ever since the onslaught of COVID-19. While Americans prepared themselves for the pandemic through medical preventative measures, Asian Americans are seeking ways to defend themselves from threats not directly related to the Coronavirus.
Statistics show that compared with past decades, the most recent few years have seen a more than 15 percent increase in hate crimes that exclusively result in Asian American victims. In various interviews with Asian residents in California, many of them voiced the opinion of feeling unsafe in their own homes.
Though Asian Americans have historically been a demographic that has the lowest rate of gun possession, recent studies have shown that racial discrimination has inspired a significant increase in gun purchasing. In a 2021 national survey, gun stores reported a 30% increase in Asian American customers when compared to years before the pandemic.
After incidents that occurred in the Bronx, Half Moon Bay, and Monterey Park, Asian Americans have started to believe in the value of the Second Amendment in protecting themselves.
Asian Californians Kris He, Trish Sargentini, and many others have purchased guns in anticipation of future hate crimes or even home invasions. Kris He explicitly stated that he was considering a firearm just days after his received his license. On a similar note, firearms instructor Tom Nguyen noted that more citizens are signing up for gun safety and licensing courses.