U.S. Rep. Robin Kelly (D-IL) and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced legislation on Tuesday, May 23, directing the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study the dangers posed by unfair and deceptive marketing and advertising practices conducted by the gun industry.
Kelly represents Homewood and Flossmoor in Congress.
The Responsible Firearms Marketing Act would empower the FTC to study the marketing and advertising practices of gun manufacturers, importers and dealers, including those which might:
- Target individuals younger than 18 years of age.
- Encourage illegal use of a firearm.
- Relate to the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons.
The act would also empower the FTC to apply existing rules regarding unfair marketing practices to firearm distributors, which include punitive fines and payment of damages to consumers for each knowing violation of the rules.
The legislation is co-sponsored by Reps. Jamaal Bowman (D-NY), Jared Moskowitz (D-FL), Sanchez (D-CA), Holmes Norton (D-DC), Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), André Carson (D-IN), Jasmine Crockett (D-TX), Sara Jacobs (D-CA), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Mary Gay Scanlon(D-PA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ).
“Regulatory carve-outs for the gun industry continue to put our children’s lives in danger,” Kelly said. “Marketing isn’t just an ad on a screen, it has tangible effects that we cannot ignore. Congress cannot allow the firearms industry to recklessly advertise their products without consequence. This legislation is a much-needed step toward protecting our children against irresponsible firearm use in our communities.”