A freshman Democrat is proposing a ban on the use of cartoon characters to sell guns, and a ban firearm branded merchandise for children such as hats, t-shirts and stuffed animals.
The Children's Firearm Marketing Safety Act from Rep. Robin Kelly, an Illinois Democrat, reflects the growing feeling among those on the left that guns should not be marketed to children. Many Democrats argue that the marketing of guns to children is contributing to the shooting death of children across the country.
The National Rifle Association sponsors "youth days" around the country that give parents and their children a chance to try out various firearms. The NRA's second annual youth day was held in Indiana last April, and was an event that let about 800 kids and their parents "enjoy a handful of activities that the NRA is involved in," including roping cattle and shooting.
The NRA also sells merchandise for children, including t-shirts and bibs with the group's name on them.
Companies also sell youth-sized rifles, such as Keystone Sporting Arms, which offers the Crickett rifle for kids. The company bills that rifle as "my first rifle," and uses a cartoon cricket to market it — some of these rifles are designed with youth-oriented colors and patterns on the stock.
Under Kelly's bill, all of these activities would be prohibited, and the ban would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. Specifically, her bill would prohibit the use of cartoon characters to market guns and ban kid-oriented marketing campaigns from gun manufacturers.
It would also ban the manufacturing of guns with colors or designs aimed at appealing to children, and would outlaw firearm brand name merchandise for kids, like hats and t-shirts.
Any youth-sized gun that is manufactured would have to bear a label that warns it is a real gun that could result in injury, or any similar warning that the FTC develops.
The bill would also give states the power to ban any of the prohibitions in the bill, as long as they inform the FTC that they are about to take action.
Read a copy of Kelly's bill here: