WASHINGTON (WAVY) – Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine (D) and 12 Democratic colleagues are co-sponsoring a bill that would prohibit the marketing of firearms to minors.
The announcement detailing the Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act mentions a weapon made by Wee1 Tactical, an Illinois-based company that makes the JR-15. It’s a smaller version based on the AR-15 assault rife, but shorter and lighter, at just 2.5 pounds.
“Our nation’s young people are all too familiar with the tragic impacts of gun violence, and it’s unacceptable that gun manufacturers continue to market their products to children,” Kaine said. “This bill is a commonsense step to make our communities safer.”
The legislation would direct the Federal Trade Commission to:
- Prohibit the marketing of firearms to minors
- Require the FTC to report to Congress on enforcement
- Authorize state attorneys general to bring actions for violations of the rule
- Establish a private right of action for individuals to bring actions for violation of the rule
10 On Your Side has contacted the gun maker and will post any response.
In announcing the bill, Kaine pointed to restrictions or limitations on tobacco, alcohol and cannabis advertising.
Josh Sugarmann, executive director and founder of the Violence Policy Center, told WAVY that the gun industry has followed a path similar to the tobacco industry in targeting children.
“Guns like the Wee1 Tactical JR-15 are targeted at the exact age range that we’re talking about – 6-to-12-year-olds,” Sugarmann said. “What happens is the gun industry recognizes that by age 12, basically they lose the opportunity to brings kids into the gun culture. They’re playing soccer, they’re doing other organized activities.”
The Violence Policy Center, along with March For Our Lives, Giffords, Brady and Everytown have endorsed the Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act.