Former President Carter said Tuesday he doesn’t believe the efforts of young people to curb gun violence and change laws represent a threat to the Second Amendment. 

“I think the distortion of the Second Amendment has been a mistake. There’s no threat to the Second Amendment among the desire of the young people to have good background checks before you can buy a weapon,” Carter told CBS News.

Carter, who is 93, said he watched Saturday as more than a million people attended the March For Our Lives in Washington, D.C., and cities across the country. The rally was organized by survivors of last month’s shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school.


Carter acknowledged the individuals leading the discussion around gun laws face a “great challenge” to get Congress and state lawmakers to act, but said their movement has “the prospect of being successful.”

“I just hope and pray that they will be persistent in their commitment, and they’ll continue to use their influence on adults who have reached voting age already and when they reach voting age that they’ll continue to be wiling to turn out of office the people that have abjectly submitted themselves to the domination of [the] NRA [National Rifle Association],” Carter said.

He argued that the NRA represents gun manufacturers and sellers more than it does individuals who use guns for hunting and self-defense.

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have led a discussion around gun violence in recent weeks after 17 people were killed in a shooting there on Feb. 14.

The Trump administration has taken steps to ban bump stocks, an accessory that allows certain weapons to fire at a more rapid rate, and signed off on funding for improved background checks.

However, Congress has not taken action on enacting universal background checks, raising the age requirement to purchase a rifle or banning assault weapons, which are priorities for the Parkland students.