Eleven Democratic Senators are demanding that the Federal Trade Commission launch an investigation into the marketing of guns to children, specifically specializing in an organization marketing an “AR-15 style” weapon for teenagers.
The letter, which will likely be sent on Wednesday, continues gun control advocates’ recent strategy of specializing in the marketing of firearms. Earlier this yr, families of among the victims of the 2012 Newtown Elementary School massacre settled with gunmaker Remington for $74 million after arguing the corporate’s marketing had targeted troubled men.
The FTC has the ability to analyze “unfair or deceptive” marketing. The senators, led by Massachusetts Democrat Ed Markey, argue that the marketing of guns to children is inherently “unfair,” even when there’s nothing deceptive about an organization’s promoting. They specifically point to a recent company, WEE1 Tactical, that has began selling a “JR-15,” which is meant to function a kids’ version of the AR-15, an assault rifle that’s the most well-liked firearm in America.
“For years, Republicans bankrolled by the NRA have put the protection of their campaign donations ahead of the protection of the American people,” Markey told HuffPost in an announcement. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough while Republicans in Congress block common sense gun safety efforts. We have now to make use of every tool at our disposal. I’m calling on the FTC to crack down on dangerous and irresponsible marketing tactics peddling AR-15 style assault rifles to children too young to make use of the stove, much less a firearm.”
Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) led 10 other Democratic senators in asking the FTC to analyze an organization selling the “JR-15.”
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“These are weapons of war that don’t have any place within the hands of our nation’s children, and may cause them substantial harm and even death,” the senators wrote to FTC Chair Lina Khan. “The US is within the midst of an epidemic of gun violence. Our young people, who routinely conduct safety drills focused on school shooters, acutely feel this crisis.”
WEE1 Tactical began selling the JR-15 last November, saying it was intended to be safer and lighter for teenagers to handle. The corporate’s Facebook page includes photos of youngsters using the weapon, and the packaging declares: “Get ’em one like yours.”
The corporate’s logo is a skull and crossbones with a pacifier.
“We worked hard on that logo,” the letter quotes the corporate’s owner as saying. “It’s pretty exciting. That keeps the ‘wow’ factor with the youngsters, I feel.”
“These alarming statements show that there’s one goal marketplace for this dangerous firearm: America’s children,” the senators wrote.
Gun control groups and Democratic politicians have focused on the JR-15 previously. California Gov. Gavin Newsom called it “vile.”
WEE1 has argued that children can learn firearm safety at a young age and that it’ll ultimately help them use guns safely throughout their lives.
“We consider that this introduction early on will produce a deep respect for firearms that proceed and last for a lifetime of safety,” the corporate wrote in a press release.
Countless American children are already exposed to firearms: One out of three homes with a baby also has at the very least one gun, and it’s common in lots of states for folks to take teenagers and kids hunting.
A recent study from the Latest England Journal of Medicine found that gun violence had surpassed motorized vehicle crashes to turn into the leading reason for death amongst American children and teenagers, with gun deaths increasing 30% from 2019 to 2020.