As a student movement rises, gun manufacturers target young people

Lee Fang, The Intercept

A MOVEMENT OF young people, led by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, captured the nation’s attention with gun control activism following a Valentine’s Day shooting at the school. But, even as the students appear in national media and flood the streets, state legislatures, and Capitol Hill, the gun industry is enjoying a growing following of young people of its own.

For years, gun manufacturers and industry-supported associations have focused their energy on transforming young Americans into the next generation of shooters. Using the appeal of a real-word version of the video game-style experience, the industry is pursuing young people to bolster revenue amid slumping sales. While the industry soars under Democratic governance — for fear that imminent regulations will make purchases more difficult — gun sales have been down since President Donald Trump’s election.

Amid this slump, older Americans present lesser opportunities for the industry to grow it’s revenue. Not only are elderly gun enthusiasts dying off, but they tend to buy hunting guns. Younger generations reared on first-person shooter video games, on the other hand, provide the gun industry with a lucrative market for sophisticated guns geared toward shooting range entertainment.

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