Legislation introduced to regulate manipulative firearms ads targeting children

AB 2571 limits dangerous firearm advertising to children and youth.

Sacramento, California — At a news conference Friday in San Diego, Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan (D-Orinda), joined Gov. Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta and others to announce the introduction of AB 2571. AB 2571 seeks to restrict malicious and manipulative firearms marketing directed toward children and youth. This bill comes at a time when California has experienced a collision of two major public health crises in recent years: COVID-19 and gun violence.

“California is a leader and one of the states with the strongest gun laws, it’s remarkable that we still allow the marketing of weapons of war to our children,” the member said. Bauer-Kahan Assembly, “Your children, my three children, have the right to live long and happy lives, free from gun violence.

Gun violence has been cited as the third leading cause of death among Californian children and youth ages 1 to 17. Around 3 million children are directly exposed to gun violence every year – at home, at school, in their communities and on social media. Exposure to gun violence has resulted in child injury, emotional trauma, and death.

The firearms industry targeted a younger audience through children’s books, mascots, clothing, and firearms adorned with cartoons and brightly colored logos to specifically appeal to children and young people.[1] Gun companies have expanded to advertising on social media platforms to connect young people to their gun-selling websites. These platforms include YouTube, Twitter, social media influencers and streaming services that children and young people disproportionately frequent.

The last attempt to regulate gun marketing was in 2014 with the unsuccessful passage of the federal Child Gun Marketing Safety Act. Since then, gun violence by and affecting children has skyrocketed – in 2021 alone there were around 259 unintentional shootings of children, leaving 104 dead and 168 injured.[2]

AB 2571 will limit the type of advertising and marketing directed at children and young people.

“Gun manufacturers are responsible for murders that result from their marketing guns specifically for our children – the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary is one of the most egregious examples. Gun manufacturers firearms target children with everything from children’s books on firearms to special small arms to make it easier for them to hold and shoot.Arms manufacturers target our children to maximize their profits, without care about the countless lives lost by children to gun violence,” said Assemblyman Bauer-Kahan, “Removing this tool of violent indoctrination from the gun industry is a critical step in putting End the cycle of gun violence and protect California’s children.

At the press conference, Governor Newsom said, “I have no problem with guns or gun owners. I have serious issues with gun violence. I have serious issues with a company that thinks it’s okay to market a JR-15 modeled after a weapon of war, an AR-15 that claimed the lives of 20 precious freshmen and six adults. at Sandy Hook, and promoting it with a skull and bones and a pacifier. How the hell do they think that’s right? »? “Selling stickers, t-shirts and hats marketing not a toy gun, but a JR-15, to get them started early.”

AB 2571 is now awaiting committee subpoena.

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