Feinstein, Markey, Colleagues Urge FTC to Investigate Marketing of Assault-Style Weapons to Children
May 17 2022
Washington–Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and a group of their colleagues to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to open an investigation into the marketing of lethal firearms, including assault-style rifles, to children.
The senators’ letter highlights marketing targeted at children by firearms dealer Wee1 Tactical, which sells the “JR-15,” an assault-style rifle modeled after the infamous AR-15. Wee1’s marketing to minors includes photos and videos of children on its website and Facebook page wielding the JR-15, as well as Wee1’s logo depicting a pacifier on a skull-and-crossbones. The lawmakers argue that these marketing tactics are dangerous and irresponsible, especially as the gun violence epidemic continues to skyrocket, which was tragically underlined this past weekend with two mass shootings across the country, one in Buffalo, New York at the hands of an 18-year-old using an AR-15-style rifle.
“We write today to urge the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to use its authority under Section 5 of the FTC Act to open an investigation into the marketing of highly lethal firearms, including assault-style rifles, to impressionable young people,” wrote the lawmakers in their letter to the FTC. “These are weapons of war that have no place in the hands of our nation’s children, and can cause them substantial harm and even death.”
A copy of the letter can be found here.
In addition to Feinstein and Markey, the letter was also signed by Senators Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Ben Ray Luján (D-N.M.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and Chris Murphy (D-Conn.).