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Kaine Cosponsors Bill to Ban Marketing of Firearms to Children

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine cosponsored legislation to ban the marketing of firearms to children. The Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act, led by Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), would specifically direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to prescribe rules that prohibit marketing firearms to children. The firearms industry is not subject to any specific restrictions or limitations on their marketing practices, although there are restrictions for tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis advertising. For decades, gunmakers have marketed automatic rifle-style guns, the weapon of choice in mass shootings, and other weapons, to children. These weapons include WEE1 Tactical’s ‘JR-15’ assault-style weapon, marketed and sold as a child’s version of the AR-15 assault rifle.

“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,” said Kaine. “This bill is a commonsense step to make our communities safer.”

Specifically, the Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act would:

  • 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.

In addition to Kaine and Markey, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Bob Casey (D-PA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Mazie Hirono (D-HI).

The Protecting Kids from Gun Marketing Act is endorsed by March For Our Lives, Violence Policy Center, Giffords, Brady, and Everytown. 

Full text of the bill is available here.