Demonstrators pray during a pro-gun rally at the main entrance to the Georgia State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 8, 2013, in Atlanta. Groups have been staging similar rallies across the country to protest gun restrictions.
Radical anti-government "patriot" groups and militias, galvanized against gun control, will continue to grow even as the number of groups operating in the USAreached an all-time high in 2012, a report Tuesday by the Southern Poverty Law Center finds.
The center tracked 1,360 radical militias and anti-government groups in 2012, an eightfold increase over 2008, when it recorded 149 such groups. The explosive growth began four years ago, sparked by the election of President Obama and anger about the poor economy, the center says. That growth is likely to continue as the groups recruit more members with a pro-gun message, the center's senior fellow Mark Potok said.