A gun rights group reported a 1,200 percent surge in youth membership in an apparent counter-reaction to youth anti-gun movements such as March for Our Lives.
“We normally don’t get that many members or donors in that age group since the gun rights movement typically trends toward older Americans,” SAF founder and executive vice president Alan M. Gottlieb said. “But the 18- to 20-year-olds have never been specifically targeted before, and they are obviously alarmed.”
He added, “This influx of young Americans into the gun rights movement is important, not just to respond to the current gun control threat, but as the movement has gotten older, it is encouraging to see so many young adults getting involved in support of Second Amendment rights.”Gottlieb said the increase in youth membership came in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting and particularly intensified after Florida raised the age limit to purchasing firearms to 21 and national firearms dealers like Dick’s Sporting Goods and L.L. Bean did the same.
“It’s important to note that this interest surge has been organic on the internet,” the executive vice president stated. “SAF did nothing special to make it happen. They have really done this on their own, finding us on the Internet and following up.”
As a result of the new membership trend, the SAF plans to more be more deliberate in their youth outreach.
“SAF has always conducted leadership training conferences,” he continued, “but now we’ll increase our emphasis on a younger audience, to integrate them into leadership roles.”
Gottleib said these young adults are more than welcome to the gun rights movement.
“While the media has paraded high school students to push a gun control agenda, the age group that is now being targeted by that effort is energizing, and showing that there is another side to this controversy,” he said.
The Washington Examiner reported that a student conservative group, the Young Americans for Freedom, has called for a counter-instructional campaign to gun control groups like March for Our Lives in schools.
YAF argued they should be allowed equal time in any school that participated in the pro-gun control walkout, which inherently happened on the taxpayer dime.
“If schools use taxpayer-funded instructional time for political purposes to oppose a God-given freedom, it is only fair to provide an opportunity for an alternative educational lecture on gun safety and the Second Amendment,” said YAF National Chairman Grant Strobl in a statement.
The YAF additionally pledged to help students “petition their administrators to permit school personnel to arm themselves.”
Shortly after the Parkland shooting last month, President Donald Trump proposed training and arming gun-adept school teachers and officials as one way to address school safety.