Chuck Schumer calls for investigation of "insane" marketing of guns to kids

Washington DC - The feds should investigate rifles "insanely being marketed to children," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Sunday.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for an investigation into Wee 1 Tactical's "JR-15" weapon resembling AR-15-style assault rifles.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has called for an investigation into Wee 1 Tactical's "JR-15" weapon resembling AR-15-style assault rifles.  © DIA DIPASUPIL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

The senator called out Wee 1 Tactical for its "JR-15" weapon resembling AR-15-style assault rifles notoriously used in mass shootings around the country.

The .22-caliber gun's "small size, lightweight rugged polymer construction and ergonomics are geared towards smaller enthusiasts," Wee 1 boasts on its website.

"The last thing we need to be doing is shrinking deadly weapons of war and marketing them to young children," Schumer said in a statement as the country reeled from the latest mass shooting, in which 10 people were killed Saturday night celebrating Lunar New Year in a ballroom near Los Angeles

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"We must stop the raining of bullets on children and rein in this horrendous and gross marketing campaign so others just like it don't pop up. The (Federal Trade Commission) has the power and the proof to take a hard look at this dangerous 'JR-15' marketing effort," the New York Democrat said.

Highlighting that "people under the age of 18 cannot own a gun," he asked: "Why is this company so fervently marketing to kids?"

JR-15 marketing shows child aiming rifle

California Rep. Nancy Pelosie has also criticized gun marketing aimed at children.
California Rep. Nancy Pelosie has also criticized gun marketing aimed at children.  © MANDEL NGAN / AFP

The JR-15 was featured at a gun show last week in Las Vegas

Over the summer, California Rep. Nancy Pelosi spoke on the House floor beside a JR-15 ad including graphics of pony-tailed skulls with green and pink pacifiers in their mouths. Pelosi, the House speaker at the time, called the marketing "disgusting."

The gun manufacturer appears to have toned down some of its promotional efforts. But its website still shows a child aiming a rifle, with an adult looking on.

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"It is abundantly clear that the firm is making an explicit effort to appeal to children in order to boost sales of this deadly weapon," Schumer wrote in a letter to FTC Chairman Lina Khan.

"While Wee 1 Tactical's marketing attempts to make the weapon appear safe for use by children, it is clearly no different than a deadly AR-15, which has already inflicted so much harm and unthinkable trauma on the children of this country."

Cover photo: DIA DIPASUPIL / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / GETTY IMAGES VIA AFP

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