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Filipino gun culture in Los Angeles has deep roots

Filipino gun club

Todd Johnson

Claudia Vidanes aims a Phantom Strike AR-15, a custom gun designed by her father Jojo Vidanes, during a Norco Running Gun club practice at Raahauge's Shooting Park.

Filipino gun club

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Jojo Vidanes, center right, stands with teammates in front of his 1986 military Humvee.

Filipino Gun Club

Todd Davis Johnson/KPCC

Chee Kwan describes elements of the bullets he shoots at a Norco Running Gun club practice.

Filipino gun club

Todd Johnson/KPCC

The team collects spent casings to be recycled and made into new bullets.

Filipino gun club

Todd Johnson/KPCC

Claudia Vidanes gives her friend, Justin Cao, his first shooting lesson during the Norco Running Gun club practice.


At an outdoor shooting range in a houseless expanse of Corona, wind whips dust into the air. A bright sun beats down on necks. Brian Urbano doesn’t mind the conditions. He’s enjoying his favorite pastime.

"We — my culture, my heritage, my roots — we do embrace firearms," Urbano said.

Urbano is a member of the Norco Running Gun club, a predominantly Filipino-American group of more than 500 shooters from all over Southern California. About 80 have shown up today at the range housed at Raahauge's Shooting Enterprises for a weekly competition that has shooters running through obstacle courses, shooting at paper and metal targets.

In the U.S., the vast majority of gun owners are white and male. The picture is very different at the Norco club where the president is a Filipino immigrant and members banter in Tagalog about technique and gun models.

From KPCC's Immigration and Emerging Communities Desk, reporter Josie Huang has the story


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