Many non-Spanish weapon-carriers circulated through New Spain during the seventeenth century who originated from Asia and arrived in the Americas via a regular shipping line known as the Manila Galleons. For these first Asians in the Americas, or chinos, as they were commonly labeled, petitions and licenses to bear arms are a fundamental genre for examining encounters with Spanish colonial administration, that is to say, the intersections of assimilation, colonial fear and social mobility. Rather than interpret the chino presence as unequivocally exceptional, this article reveals similarities between the experiences of chinos and other non-Spaniards negotiating colonial juridical structures. Despite occasional legal successes, the perceptions of difference and race thinking embedded in petitions and licenses to bear arms indicate the limitations of mobility, as well as adverse reactions to an increasingly globalized population of questionable allegiance to the colonial administration.