Indian-American woman visited by police after asking to buy AR-15 ammo at Dick’s Sporting Goods
Sim Sangha (KNTV)

An Indian-American woman said she was questioned by California police after she asked to buy some ammunition for her AR-15 rifle.


Sim Sangha, a 24-year-old firearms instructor from Fremont, asked an employee of Dick's Sporting Goods about buying eight boxes of ammunition for her military-style rifle, reported KNTV-TV.

Two days later, police visited her home for questioning after that store employee alerted them.

"I don't know if it's my skin color or that I’m Indian," Sangha said. "I'm not a Muslim, but even if I were, that's no reason to call police to my home, instantly."

Sangha, who is preparing to join the Los Angeles Police Department, did not buy ammunition for her rifle -- which is the same type of weapon used by a Muslim couple earlier this month to kill 14 co-workers and wound 17 others in San Bernardino.

She only bought an exercise mask at the sporting goods store, and she believes she was racially profiled.

"They singled me out because of the way I look," Sangha said. "I've had friends buy bulk ammo, and they've never had police show up at their door."

Police said the officers apologized to Sangha, but a spokeswoman for the department said they had a duty to investigate activity that residents considered "suspicious."

The police spokeswoman said officers were on heightened alert following the mass shootings in Southern California, which investigators have linked to Islamic terrorism.

Conservatives have said "political correctness" prevented a man working in the couple's neighborhood from reporting his suspicions about Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik because he did not want to racially profile them.

Republican officials and candidates have proposed outlandish measures -- such as banning Muslims -- in the wake of those shootings that has helped spark a wave of violence, threats and harassment against Muslims in the U.S.

They have also bitterly resisted calls for additional layers of scrutiny or restrictions for buying guns and ammunition -- although Sangha's experience could test the limits of their resistance.

Pro-gun proponents may have additional opportunities to express support for limiting access to guns -- at least for some people -- as more Muslim women decide to take up arms to defend themselves against Islamophobic threats.

Watch this video report posted online by KNTV-TV: