The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) has seen a stunning 1,200% increase in youth membership and donations since the tragic South Florida school shooting on February 14.
In reaction to the calls to raise the age limit on ownership of certain guns subsequent to the school shooting, SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb says he's seen a 1,200% spike in 18-20-year-old memberships and donations.
"We normally don’t get that many members or donors in that age group, since the gun rights movement typically trends toward older Americans," said Gottlieb. "But the 18- to 20-year-olds have never been specifically targeted before, and they are obviously alarmed."
Gottlieb noted the importance of young gun ownership in the face of an aging pro-Second Amendment crowd.
"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," he said.
On Friday, Republican Governor Rick Scott of Florida signed a measure that raises the age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21. President Donald Trump, too, has played with a similar federal restriction, previously suggesting people under the age of 21 should be barred from buying certain guns, though he's since signaled a retreat from such a proposal.
As seen with the membership boost at SAF, Americans have responded swiftly to the intense calls to crack down on Second Amendment rights, in perhaps the exact opposite way those pushing such measures want them to.
"It’s important to note that this interest surge has been organic on the Internet," said Gottlieb. "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," he continued. "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."
The sales of so-called "ghost guns" and memberships at the National Rifle Association (NRA) have reportedly soared as well since the school shooting.