The Liberal Gun Club's membership climbed 24 percent in 2020, the result of a wild year that has seen an estimated 5 million new gun owners clamor to brick-and-mortar stores and online retailers for firearms.
In addition to experiencing a surge in membership, LGC saw a 20 to 30 percent increase in social media followers. LGC's National Spokesperson Lara Smith said the organization's core membership is comprised of "left-of-center" gun owners who consider the right to own guns "essential to their sense of freedom." Smith said the group is dedicated to providing left-leaning gun owners a place to gather, learn, and discuss firearms topics.
"Our mission is to be the premier pro-Second Amendment voice for left-of-center gun owners in the national conversation on firearms," Smith said in a speech at the 35th Annual Gun Rights Policy Conference held virtually Sept. 19 and 20. "In order to achieve our mission, we encourage new participants in the shooting sports, provide firearms safety and shooting instruction programs, as well as providing a forum for civil discourse on these issues."
The club has received over 500 training requests from individuals outside LGC interested in learning more about guns since the COVID-19 pandemic. Offering a bevy of educational and training opportunities, including three formal classes to certify instructors as well as online training on various topics related to the gun world, Smith said LGC is committed to furthering the education of its members. Taking it a step further, the group even introduced a program called Make It Safe, which caters to non-shooters with no knowledge of firearms whatsoever.
“We just released Make It Safe training for those brand new to firearms and for non-shooters who don't know firearms at all, so that those people can make the most common forms of firearms safe should they need to,” Smith explained.
Smith said though the group heavily supports education initiatives among civilians, it also does its part to educate legislators on the importance of the Second Amendment. In addition to lobbying efforts, LGC also gathers data on candidates via a survey to determine which politicians are most likely to stand on the side of gun rights.
"We started this in the 2018 election year, and we look to endorse candidates who are strong on both the Second Amendment and other shared values," Smith said. "We look to find left-leaning politicians we agree with on most issues, who can be swayed on gun rights or are already there. We're looking forward to expanding, and we have politicians who have already reached out to us asking to take the survey."
Check out the Liberal Gun Club online for more information and events near you. To catch Smith's speech at the GRPC, click the video below.