Senate Democrats may not be able to get a gun ban to Joe Biden’s desk thanks to the Republican majority in the House, but if Chuck Schumer and his anti-gun allies are signaling they’re going to do everything they can to target gun owners and the firearms industry while Congress is gridlocked. On Thursday the New York senator, joined by Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy, called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the gun company Wee1 Tactical for supposedly marketing a “mini-assault weapon” to minors.
“The last thing we need to be doing is reducing in size these deadly weapons of war and then marketing them to children. But that’s what’s happening,” said Schumer.
That’s not what’s happening. The JR-15 produced by Wee1 Tactical is a rimfire rifle chambered in .22LR. It’s basically a semi-automatic version of the single-shot .22 that I used to teach my own kids how to be safe and responsible with a firearm. If the JR-15 had been around a decade ago, I probably would have used that instead of the Crickett rifle that I purchased specifically to introduce my children to the world of safe and responsible gun use.
It is illegal to sell guns to anyone under 18. But pointing to the company’s web page, which features a child looking down the sights of a gun, Schumer said it’s obvious that is what the company is trying to do.
“This stuff is pretty despicable. So we want the FTC to give it a thorough look,” Schumer said.
Wee1 Tactical may be marketing their products to parents, but I don’t think they’re trying to get eight-year-olds to break open their piggy bank and stroll down to their local gun store to try to pick up a JR-15.
“You cannot buy a firearm under 18. That’s the law. And they are marketing guns to kids in the hopes that brothers or sisters might buy them, or the kids will lie about their age and buy something online,” Murphy said. “They’re very deliberately trying to do an end-around on the law, which is part of why we need the FTC.”
This attempt to go after firearms designed to introduce youth to the shooting sports (as well as real gun safety education and training) isn’t confined to Washington, D.C. In California, lawsuits are challenging a state law enacted last year that bans marketing firearms to minors, but defines it so broadly that firearm instructors, youth shooting leagues, and even publishers of magazines aimed at young competitive shooters say the real goal is to prevent those under the age of 18 from taking part in the shooting sports altogether.
Anti-gunners may talk a lot about the need for education and training, but when it comes down to it the gun control lobby is one of the biggest impediments to providing those lessons to those of any age, including minors. Today their target is the JR-15, but their broader goal is to prevent the next generation of Americans from learning about, caring for, and eventually exercising and protecting their Second Amendment rights.