Spike in LGBT gun club membership since Orlando mass shooting

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In the wake of the Orlando massacre, an Atlanta LGBT gun club, the “Pink Pistols” have become more active in their self-defense fight.

Dylan West said their Atlanta membership has doubled since the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub on June 12.  West said while the Orlando shooting has drawn attention to attacks on the LGBT community, anti-gay violence is not new.

“We look decades back, there have been arson attacks as far as one on one attacks,” said West. “In 2014 The FBI reported 999 hate crimes against the LGBT community.”

The group met Wednesday, for the first time since the spike in members at Quickshot Shooting Range in Brookhaven. The meeting was private, but West said training, gun ownership education and regular meeting schedules would be some of the topics discussed.

Pink Pistol’s member Chris Willis was one of dozens who attended.

“There may be some people in the LGBT community that never really took a long hard look at defending themselves and a lot of people are starting to,” said Willis.

While some are taking self-defense into their own hands, Democratic leaders are demanding a debate and vote on gun control measures.

‪West said they want to support gun owners and focus on educating the public on what gun ownership really means.

“We do not want to see legislation pushed through that makes it harder for people to take advantage of their Second Amendment rights when it comes to self-defense and legal safe carrying,” said West.