Attacks By Gun Control Industry on Firearm Ads Target the Next Generation’s Gun Rights

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Vintage daisy rifle ad american boys bill of rights

By Larry Keane

California and Illinois laws that have banned advertising in those two states lawmakers consider to be targeted at minors doesn’t have anything to do with increasing public safety. It doesn’t have anything to do with fighting the criminal misuse of firearms. The laws are intended to do one thing – convince the next generation of Americans that the Second Amendment doesn’t exist.

Lawmakers in those two states passed, and Govs. Gavin Newsom and J.B. Pritzker signed, laws that ban firearm-related advertising that could be attractive or be considered to target children. NSSF has filed legal challenges to both laws in California and Illinois. Those laws violate not only the First Amendment-protected right of commercial speech but also work to eliminate the Second Amendment from the conversation with the next generation of gun owners and outdoorsmen and women.

These lawmakers believe that if they can erase imagery and advertising that shows youth learning safe and responsible firearm ownership and ethical hunting traditions, the next generation will never understand that the Second Amendment is their right to exercise when they become of legal age to purchase firearms on their own.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (AP Photo/John O’Connor, File)

If the next generation of Americans don’t learn about Second Amendment freedoms, they won’t know. If they don’t know, gun control politicians would have an easier avenue by which to eliminate the right altogether. It’s a devious plan and one the firearm industry is fighting against.

Target: Youth

California’s and Illinois’ laws are targeting advertising for youth-model firearms that parents could purchase to teach youths to safely and responsibly handle firearms. The rifle and shotguns are simply the latest in a long series of youth-model firearms designed to fit younger marksmen learning to safely shoot.

Many of today’s adult shooting sports enthusiasts will recall learning the fundamentals of shooting on youth-model firearms. This is nothing new. Manufacturers have been offering smaller caliber and smaller gauges for those learning responsible firearm handling for decades. None of that, however, changes how firearms are purchased.

Gun Save Life youth kids nra camp
The horror…the horror…. (Image courtesy Guns Save Life)

Every firearm purchased at retail is only sold to adults over 18 and after signing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Form 4473 that attests the purchaser is not a prohibited individual and is confirmed with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).

Since firearms can’t be purchased by youths, it negates the accusations that firearm manufacturers are targeting children with advertising. Instead, the bans on advertising eliminate depictions that firearm safety and hunting traditions can be passed down to the next generation of Americans who would value their rights and the hunting memories made with adults closely supervising them.

Disastrous Effects

That’s not hyperbole. USA Clay Target League suspended activities in California after the law banning advertising “attractive to minors” was signed there. That carries a $25,000 civil penalty for any and each instance of firearm-related marketing to persons under the age of 18.

“Some parents and students say this law could end up costing them their sport,” reported.

Growing Interest

These laws are intended to squelch the conversation of youths learning safe and responsible firearm ownership and it’s coming at a time when youth shooting sports are experiencing a renaissance of sorts. USA Clay Target League President John Nelson said that Minnesota’s statewide clay shooting competition drew nearly 8,000 student competitors from 340 teams this year. When he started in 2009, there were 10 in the competition.

Gavin Newsom
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

The Reload reported that it’s not just a regional phenomenon. Nationwide, there are more than 1,500 teams and nearly 45,000 athletes, according to USA Clay Target Shooting’s annual reportThe Chicago Tribune reported in 2021, that Illinois had 55 teams. Arkansas’ Game and Fish Commission recently announced the creation of its new Shooting Sports Division, elevating the shooting sports from a program to a full-blown department within the agency that will have a concentration on growing the youth shooting sports.

The effort to erase responsible firearm ownership from the minds of youth is getting a boost from the federal government too. The Biden administration’s Department of Education stripped funding for hunter education and archery programs after deliberately misinterpreting the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA). Congress is up in arms over that maneuver. U.S. senators and representatives from both parties are blasting the decision to defund classes that teach safe and responsible firearm ownership. So are governors and state attorneys general. NSSF supports H. Res. 615, a resolution introduced by Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-Wis.) condemning the Biden administration’s attack on schools that educate students on responsible firearm handling.

None of these legislative or policy attacks are designed to curb the criminal misuse of firearms. They only stop the ability for parents and guardians to pass along their passion for the shooting sports and value for their fundamental Second Amendment freedoms.

The anti-gun attacks were never designed to stop crime. They only stop the respect for safe and responsible firearm ownership and diminish Second Amendment rights to the point where the next generation won’t know that their rights were taken from them.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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  1. file under the heading
    “ideas that miner think are pretty cool which means they wont ever ever work”:

    Chicago Official Suggests “Purge” Style Ordinance For Gun Violence Prevention

    Submitted by Gun Owners Of America

    On Jan. 10, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Protect Illinois Communities Act into law. The act bans so-called ‘assault weapons,’ high-capacity magazines, and “switches,” a nickname for conversion devices designed to make semi-automatic firearms fully automatic.

    Apparently, this law has done nothing to reduce gun violence in Chicago because local politicians have come up with a new proposal to keep the violent crime rate from rising:

    Asking criminals to limit gunfights to between the hours of 9 pm – 9 am.

    rotf lmmfao

  2. My youngest grandkid turns 12 next winter. Child will be getting my old single shot .22. Same one my father, me, and the kids mother learned with. And, Lord willing, the same rifle will continue to be used to teach more generations basic safety and marksmanship.
    Waited a little later for the youngest to have a firearm. Just a little too excitable until this year. Most of my kids and grands began shooting at 10. A couple had to wait a little longer to be mature enough to learn and retain basic rules and skills.

    • I started training my son with dry practice years before he started shooting. So he learned the operations before going live. He had been going to the range with me since before he was 3 and was well versed in the commands and process before he started. He would also assist the scorers and they said his maths was better than theirs.

      He is now 15, been competing for 2 years, thoroughly enjoying the competition, and the respect he has earned by other club members. He even assists with training beginners (under my supervision).

    • You made a couple of grandchildren wait…You responsible parent you! How Dare You! in my best Greta Thunberg voice!

        • “…there is no best Greta Thunberg anything…”

          I dunno, I’d probably click on a boyfriend’s revenge s*x video of hers… :

  3. With movies, TV, and video games do children actually need advertising to learn about firearms?

    The advertising was probably more directed to the parents. Or the children are going hunting and/or to the range with the parents and want to have a turn.

    • Movies *alone* are keeping guns ‘cool’.

      Harsh words don’t right wrongs, stop terrorists, or get the girl. James Bond, Jason Bourne, John Wick all use guns to do that work.

      Hollywood is our very best buddy, and they are too stupid to see what’s right in front of them… 😉

      • Lol, have you seen the latest batch of video games, they are literally gun sims and are functionally adds for guns of all types. The best part is the lefties have already lost that front on the war on guns, long ago, Tipper I’m looking at you 😉

    • there have been some lawsuits based in advertising and marketing…this is just a continuation of that…..

  4. They better fear young, angered women, if they know what’s good for them.

    We need to make guns a trendy fashion accessory.

    Call it the “Don’t Fuck with Me” look. Millions of teenage girl’s fathers would agree… 🙂

    • From Mr. Keane’s article above:

      “Every firearm purchased at retail is only sold to adults over 18 and after signing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Form 4473 that attests the purchaser is not a prohibited individual and is confirmed with the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).”

      Nobody should be prohibited, and nobody should be going through a BGC under the presumption of being a prohibited person. There should never be any “confirmation” process for a constitutional and Natural right.

      Most POTG would hopefully agree. Justice Thomas seems to heavily lean in that direction if his opinion on Bruen means anything. But if future generations continue to decline in the knowledge (and insistence of) their rights, they will lose them.

      • ” There should never be any “confirmation” process for a constitutional and Natural right. Most POTG would hopefully agree.”

        Would you be comfortable with a quick to anger two year-old carrying a loaded lethal weapon they found in mom’s purse?

        The serious question for you –

        At what age should someone be trusted with that kind of power? And who makes that decision, and will be personally-liable for the actions of someone that young?

        It’s real easy to claim 2A absolutism, but the reality isn’t black-and-white…

        • I was hunting alone at 12 and I’m sure many, many others were as well. Pretty sure most of us never shot anyone that wasn’t trying to shoot us because we were taught well by our fathers or mentors. What’s your point?

        • “I was hunting alone at 12…”

          That’s nice, do you want an angry 6 year-old carrying a loaded Glock, when you tell him to clean his room?

      • an adult buying a down-sized firearm is clearly buying it for someone else…how long before that becomes an issue?

  5. Fascists gonna fasc, right? The freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and the Second Amendment are all being trashed here. “WE DON’T LIKE YOU SO SHUT UP!!” The rest of our civil rights will follow in time. The entire Bill of Rights is going to be shredded, and shoveled into the incinerator.

    • As long as ‘We the People’ refuse to protect and defend their Rights.
      Our Consolation must be this, my dear, that Cities may be rebuilt, and a People reduced to Poverty, may acquire fresh Property: But a Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost is lost forever. John Adams 7 July 1775.
      Freedom is not free and has a price. Adams wrote of that price and the responsibility to pay it.
      In a 1787 letter to William Stephens Smith, the son-in-law of John Adams, Thomas Jefferson used the phrase “tree of liberty”:

      I do not know whether it is to yourself or Mr. Adams I am to give my thanks for the copy of the new constitution. I beg leave through you to place them where due. It will be yet three weeks before I shall receive them from America. There are very good articles in it: and very bad. I do not know which preponderate. What we have lately read in the history of Holland, in the chapter on the Stadtholder, would have sufficed to set me against a Chief magistrate eligible for a long duration, if I had ever been disposed towards one: and what we have always read of the elections of Polish kings should have forever excluded the idea of one continuable for life. Wonderful is the effect of impudent and persevering lying. The British ministry have so long hired their gazetteers to repeat and model into every form lies about our being in anarchy, that the world has at length believed them, the English nation has believed them, the ministers themselves have come to believe them, and what is more wonderful, we have believed them ourselves. Yet where does this anarchy exist? Where did it ever exist, except in the single instance of Massachusets? And can history produce an instance of a rebellion so honourably conducted? I say nothing of it’s motives. They were founded in ignorance, not wickedness. God forbid we should ever be 20. years without such a rebellion.[1] The people can not be all, and always, well informed. The part which is wrong will be discontented in proportion to the importance of the facts they misconceive. If they remain quiet under such misconceptions it is a lethargy, the forerunner of death to the public liberty. We have had 13. states independant 11. years. There has been one rebellion. That comes to one rebellion in a century and a half for each state. What country before ever existed a century and half without a rebellion? And what country can preserve it’s liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as to facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure. Our Convention has been too much impressed by the insurrection of Massachusets: and in the spur of the moment they are setting up a kite to keep the hen yard in order. I hope in god this article will be rectified before the new constitution is accepted.[2]
      The Authority to do so lies within the Declaration of Independence, which shows the just causes to do so. Many of which are being forced upon the citizenry today. The only thing lacking is the Will. Choices will have to be made. Not even a time that you will see, but with desire and courage. A time that our children and their children can enjoy. A time without Bureaucratic Regulations disguised as Laws. Being allowed by judges and by politicians who gamed the system to get them in place. Knowing full well they could never pass them as a piece of legislation. Yes choices need to be made. “Even if you choose to not decide…You still have made a choice. RUSH/ Free Will Choose Wisely

      • ““Even if you choose to not decide…You still have made a choice. RUSH/ Free Will – Choose Wisely”

        • Seen RUSH several times live. 2112, Signals, Show of Hands and Different Stages. Much of my life philosophy comes from their music, especially side 1 2112 and the influences Ayn Rand (Alice O’Connor) had on their music. Her works were and are just as prophetic as those of George Orwell. In regards to the societies we are witnessing all across our nation and the world.

        • Have a feeling we will be seeing a lot more phantom fears and kindness that can kill this fall/winter.

  6. First I need to find that photo somewhere for reprint for my work room. It will look good next to a few wall hangers.

    Second, what a stupid law they are presenting. The law of unintended consequences will follow such a law. Illinois and California have plenty of advertisements for drugs that are legal. Some are colorful and attract the attention of those too young to legally partake. Just saying a good attorney could find a young client who meets all of the civil service points to use as a test case. Maybe get money from the drug dealers who profited by Covid lockdowns and federal stimulus money.

  7. Defending Gun Rights at the UN Arms Trade Conference.

    Ruben Navarro, NAGR Special Representative to the UN, speaks at the UN Arms Trade Treaty conference in Geneva, Switzerland, on behalf of American’s 2nd Amendment Rights, opposing globalism.

  8. No, no, no, you see as shown by the suit against Remington and Bushmaster, those ads that have soldiers and hunters and EVIL BLACK RIFLES are the reason we have these y9oung, impressionable, psychotic teenagers buying up WEAPONS OF WAR and going into schools and SLAUGHTERING OUR PRECIOUS INNOCENT CHILDREN!!! Why, if we just BANNED ADVERTISING these poor victims of society won’t get any wrong headed ideas. You see. We already know it isn’t movies, or TV, or violent video games, SO IT MUST BE ALL OF THAT GUN PORN ADVERTISING! This is simply COMMON SENSE!


      “Put down the computer mouse, and step away from the monitor, *slowly*…” 😉

  9. Geoff – “That’s nice, do you want an angry 6 year-old carrying a loaded Glock, when you tell him to clean his room?”

    Typical democrat, taking an argument to absurd lengths. Pretty sure no one ever said a 6 year old should be given or sold a glock or any other handgun. I’m saying that the parents should decide when/if a child is ready to be trusted with a gun, supervised or not and the parents are responsible for that decision. Lets keep it real please.

  10. The best possible way to breed young men who are obsessed with firearms is to surround them in childhood with hostile, scolding adults attempting to slap everything relating to firearms out of their hands.

    • fur shure!…but, once again…they’re targeting the wrong group…probably by design….

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