BOSTON (AP) — The state's top gun advocacy group says membership has soared in recent months.

The Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts said that it has surpassed 16,000 members in the state. The group said it has added about 3,000 members since January.

Jim Wallace, the group's executive director, said new members are concerned about their Second Amendment right to bear arms and are taking action to secure those rights for future generations

Wallace reported the news over the weekend at the National Rifle Association's annual conference in Houston.

Wallace said the group is trying to dispel the myth that Massachusetts is a state that doesn't care about the Second Amendment rights of its residents.

Wallace said the group works with legislators and community organizers to make gun ownership safe for Massachusetts residents.