Since the tragic shooting at a Florida high school last month, lawmakers have sought to strip the Second Amendment rights of young adults. By doing so, lawmakers have also accomplished something the firearms industry has struggled with for year—getting the next generation involved in the fight for the Second Amendment. According to SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb, the Second Amendment Foundation has experienced a 1,200 percent increase in the number of 18- to 20-year-olds joining or supporting the organization.
“We normally don’t get that many members or donors in that age group, since the gun rights movement typically trends toward older Americans. But the 18- to 20-year-olds have never been specifically targeted before, and they are obviously alarmed. 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.
“SAF has always conducted leadership training conferences, but now we’ll increase our emphasis on a younger audience, to integrate them into leadership roles,” Gottlieb stated.
Gottlieb became aware of the spike in younger memberships after three weeks of almost non-stop news and editorializing about the “need” to prevent young adults from buying firearms—especially modern sporting rifles—based primarily on the actions of a few high profile events. The issue really intensified after legislation was signed in Florida to raise the age limit on firearms purchases, and at least two national chains imposed their own restrictions.
“It’s important to note that this interest surge has been organic on the internet. SAF did nothing special to make it happen. They have really done this on their own, finding us on the internet and following up.
“I want young adults in the 18 to 20 age group to know they are welcome in the gun rights movement,” Gottlieb stressed. “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 concluded.