TheBlaze

Membership, interest in gun rights groups soar in the weeks after the Florida high school shooting

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Sarah Taylor

Membership, as well as interest in learning information about joining gun organizations — such as the National Rifle Association and other grassroots organizations — has increased dramatically in the weeks after the deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

What are the details?

According a Friday Time article, many pro-gun and pro-Second Amendment groups saw surges in membership in and interest after the school shooting, which left at least 17 dead and injured many more.

Patrick Parsons, head of Georgia Gun Owners — which is a local independent gun rights org — said, “As soon as anti-gun attacks started coming in on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media, we began to hear from people who didn’t even own guns who wanted to join up or contribute out of solidarity in defense of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.”

Parsons told Time that the group’s membership — which hovered around 13,000 — gained 1,000 new members in just two weeks following the deadly shooting.

Dudley Brown, president of the National Association for Gun Rights, said that the association, which reportedly has over 4 million members and supporters, may have grown over 30 percent over the last week alone.

The outlet also reported that the Connecticut Citizens Defense League, an org which boasts a membership of approximately 29,000, received nearly 200 applications in the last seven days. According to Time, this is atypical, as the Connecticut Citizens Defense League generally receives approximately 15-20 applications for week.

What else?

Cleta Mitchell, a former Oklahoma state lawmaker who was on the NRA’s board from 2002 to 2013, addressed the companies who opted to sever ties with the NRA following the Florida school shooting in an email to Time.

“There is no one. NO ONE. Who joins the NRA for a discount on a rental car,” Mitchell told Time. “You can rest assured that the NRA will not lose a single member as a result of this.”

“If anything,” she added, “it should spur people to join the NRA as a means of demonstrating that we who believe in the Second Amendment will not be bullied by these left wing multi-billion dollar corporations.”

The Daily Mail on Sunday also reported that despite calls from both Democrats and Republicans to tighten gun laws, as well as the many boycotts of the NRA, searches for NRA membership on the Internet increased dramatically since the shooting.

According to the outlet, the search term “NRA memberships” is reportedly up 4,900 percent since Feb. 14, the day of the Marjory Stoneman shooting.

The NRA has at least 5 million members, but has yet to release any current membership numbers at the time of this writing.

TheBlaze reached out to the NRA for comment on whether they, too, received a large uptick in memberships in the weeks following the deadly school shooting, but the organization did not immediately return a request for comment.