Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said in an interview with Yahoo Finance that it appears the National Rifle Association (NRA) is starting to lose its political influence, especially with younger Americans now taking a stand.
The nation’s top gun rights lobbying group has been laid low by an organizational crisis that’s engulfed its leadership, and forced it to shutter its media operation. Meanwhile, the NRA has taken multiple hits from critics that accuse the organization of being complicit in a rash of high-profile shootings.
In an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman, Gillibrand — a 2020 presidential candidate— said evidence suggested the NRA is starting to lose bits of its political impact. She cited the survivors of 2018’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida —many of whom have become vocal in the debate for more gun control.
“The young people of America are rising up,” the New York Democrat said.
“The fact that you have kids marching out of classrooms, marching on Washington, marching for our lives, the fact that you have young women like Emma Gonzalez speaking up and calling BS on every member of Congress who's ever lied to her, that is changing outcomes,” Gillibrand added.
According to an analysis by CNN, the first five months of 2019 have seen 15 school shootings where someone was injured or killed.
While many Democratic politicians have called out the NRA, the gun rights lobbying group retains steadfast support from the GOP’s top ranks, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and President Donald Trump.
For its part, the NRA has continued to push back on suggestions that more gun control would prevent future attacks.
“Banning guns from law-abiding Americans based on the criminal act of a madman will do nothing to prevent future attacks. This is a fact that has been proven time and again in countries across the world,” NRA representatives said in part of their official statement.
Still, new efforts to restrict gun rights have failed to pass Congress. Gillibrand told Yahoo Finance that the push for gun control went beyond just lobbying lawmakers.
“Even if [young Americans] can't convince a legislator to do the right thing, they can convince their parents, and they can convince their grandparents, and all the people that love them,” Gillibrand said in regards to gun policy reform.
“And those people will start voting out people that won't be for common sense,” she then added.
Donovan Russo is a writer for Yahoo Finance. Follow him @Donovanxrusso.