WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWLP) – A group of Democratic U.S. Senators are supporting a bill that would direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create rules to prohibit gun marketing to young children and teens.
Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey and 11 other Senators introduced the Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act. They pointed out that currently there are advertising restrictions on cigarettes and tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis advertising, but the firearms industry does not have any specific restrictions or limitations on their marketing practices.
The Senators point to one weapon in particular, the Chicago-based WEE1 Tactical’s ‘JR-15’ assault-style weapon, marketed and sold as a child’s version of the AR-15 assault rifle.
“A junior version of the AR-15 has no place in a kid’s toy box. America’s gun violence epidemic is claiming tens of thousands of lives each year as gunmakers, dealers, and vendors alike continue to put sales over safety by targeting kids with advertising of a deadly weapon,” said Senator Markey. “It’s shameful, irresponsible, and dangerous. The FTC must act immediately to prohibit the marketing of these weapons to children, a step that could save lives.
Highlights of the bill include:
- Direct the FTC to promulgate a rule prohibiting the marketing of firearms to minors;
- Require the FTC to report to Congress on enforcement of the rule;
- Authorize state attorneys general to bring actions for violations of the rule; and
- Establish a private right of action for individuals to bring actions for violation of the rule.
Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) are cosponsors.
The bill is also supported by several gun control organizations including March For Our Lives, Violence Policy Center, and Everytown.