With the Responsible Firearms Marketing Act, “Jr. AR-15” ad campaigns would become an illegal practice, once and for all
Washington, D.C. – Today, youth activists are celebrating the unveiling of the Responsible Firearms Marketing Act in the House. This bill would finally subject the gun industry to some of the same basic safeguards that are in place to protect children and minors from other potentially dangerous products, like tobacco and alcohol. As it stands, the gun industry can and does advertise deadly firearms to children, seeking to maximize its profits at the expense of our lives and safety. With an utterly unconstrained gun industry, it is no coincidence that gun violence is now the leading cause of death for children in America.
The bill directs the FTC to investigate the gun industry’s advertising practices, something the FTC has not done for decades despite a petition filed in 1996 by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, and a more recent petition that March For Our Lives and our coalition partners in the Firearms Accountability Counsel Taskforce filed in April. Our petition, which the FTC has yet to respond to, provided clear evidence of unethical advertising to children, including the development and marketing of a “JR-15.” The “JR-15” is a smaller version of the high-capacity AR-15, designed to be lighter and featuring cartoon graphics to appeal to children.
“It’s disgusting that in America today there are practically no restrictions whatsoever on marketing deadly firearms to children,” said Mariah Cooley, 21, March For Our Lives Board Member. “Children are dying in America at a record rate, and the gun industry’s response is to design high-powered rifles that are easier for children to hold. They’re reaping record profits at the expense of our lives. No more. This bill is a big step forward in ending unethical marketing and curbing the epidemic of gun violence. We’re pleased to see it proposed, and look forward to the Senate taking up this crucial piece of legislation.”