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‘Stand for the Second’ Students Hold Nationwide Walkout in Support of Gun Rights

A Glock 22 pistol is seen laying on a Palmetto M4 assault rifle at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

Students across the country are walking out of classrooms Wednesday morning to demonstrate their support for the Second Amendment.

Will Riley, a New Mexico high-school student, organized the national Stand for the Second event in cooperation with the Tea Party Patriots Citizen Fund. Organizers said they expected students in more than 40 states to walk out of their classrooms for 16 minutes.

Riley, 18, told the Carlsbad Current-Argus last month that the anti-gun public sentiment and resulting media coverage sparked by the mass shooting in Parkland inflated the perception that all young people are in favor of stricter gun control.

“I’m watching the news and I see they’re saying, ‘Well we have to do something about this. We have to enact some sort of gun control legislation because this is what the kids are asking for.’ And I’m thinking, ‘I’m not asking for that,’” Riley said. “I look at my friends and I think, ‘They’re not asking for that.’”

“I wanted to give a voice to all of the people who feel that they’re being misrepresented by the media,” he added.

The demonstration, which was set to take place at 10 a.m., comes just one month after thousands of students across the country held a walkout to advocate more stringent gun-control laws.

The walkout was organized by the March for Our Lives, a student-led gun-control group backed by prominent national organizations like Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Control. The Parkland students leading the March for Our Lives have received substantial national media coverage following the massive demonstration they organized in Washington, D.C. in late March.

While public support for increased gun control surged in the days after the Valentine’s Day Parkland shooting, it has dropped off significantly since. The number of respondents who support “stricter gun control laws” fell ten percentage points after peaking at 66 percent on February 20, according to an April 11 Quinnipiac University poll. Additionally, a number of polls have demonstrated that Millennials are no more supportive of stricter gun-control legislation than their elders.

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