The federal government should look into rifles that are “insanely marketed to children,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said on Sunday.
He singled out Wee 1 Tactical for its “JR-15” weapon, which resembles the AR-15-style assault rifles that have been used in numerous mass shootings across the country.
Wee 1 claims that the.22-caliber gun’s “small size, lightweight rugged polymer construction, and ergonomics are geared towards smaller enthusiasts” 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, which killed ten people in a ballroom near Los Angeles on Saturday night celebrating Lunar New Year.
“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 authority and the evidence to investigate this dangerous ‘JR-15′ marketing campaign,” the New York Democrat said.
He asked, “Why is this company so fervently marketing to kids?” after emphasising that “people under the age of 18 cannot own a gun.”
Wee 1, which is based in the Chicago area, did not respond immediately to a request for comment from the Daily News.
The JR-15 was on display at a gun show in Las Vegas last week.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) spoke on the House floor this summer alongside a JR-15 ad depicting pony-tailed skulls with green and pink pacifiers in their mouths. At the time, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the marketing “disgusting.”
Some of the gunmaker’s promotional efforts appear to have been scaled back. However, its website still depicts a child aiming a rifle while an adult looks on.
“It is abundantly clear that the firm is making an explicit effort to appeal to children in order to boost sales of this lethal weapon,” Schumer wrote to FTC Chairman Lina Khan in a letter.
“While Wee 1 Tactical’s marketing makes the weapon appear safe for children to use, it is clearly no different than a lethal AR-15, which has already inflicted so much harm and unthinkable trauma on the children of this country.”