You might call it California’s Assembly Bill 2571 the ‘Don’t Say Gun’ bill. The bill would “prohibit a person or entity that publishes materials directed to minors in this state in any medium from marketing or advertising firearms in that material, as specified, and would prohibit a person or entity that publishes a marketing or advertising communication from publishing or disseminating marketing or advertising for firearms that is attractive to minors…”
Current law bans advertising to minors. The new language — banning ads that are “attractive to minors” — would make the ban vague and broad enough to drive a truck through.
It was already abundantly clear how much regard California’s legislature has for Second Amendment rights. It appears they have every bit as much contempt for the First Amendment, too.
You can read the bill here.
If passed, you can bet that any use of cartoon characters in ads is out, but what about bright colors? Will ads for guns like these be considered unduly “attractive to minors?”
What about this?
The penalty for each violation is $25,000. If you’re Ruger or Taurus, do you want to find out?
Will an Eddie Eagle gun safety promotion be considered over the line?
The Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex already (falsely) considers the NRA part of the “gun lobby.” Will California prosecutors treat an Eddie Eagle ad as marketing guns to kids?
How about using a stock image…like this one?
If you’re advertising shotguns or a hunter education course and use a pic showing a dad hunting with his son, could that also be considered “attractive to minors” and promoting the sale of firearms if someone under 18 sees it? What are the odds?
Advertising is, of course, generally considered protected commercial speech and any government regulation has to meet a high bar. This abomination of a bill would trample all over the First Amendment rights of producers of lawful products that are sold everywhere in America.
The bill will, of course, be fought tooth and nail by the industry, but the California Legislature might as well be considered its own gun control lobbying organization. The only thing surprising would be if the bill isn’t passed.
The NSSF’s Mark Oliva told TTAG . . .
California lawmakers aren’t satisfied with destroying Second Amendment rights. They are now targeting First Amendment rights. Commercial speech is still protected speech, even if California’s bought-and-paid for gun control politicians disagree with it.
The most egregious part of this is the intent is squelch the traditions of parents teaching their children safe and responsible firearm ownership. Advertising images of parents and youths hunting together would be illegal. Youth hunting clothing branded with firearm and ammunition maker logos would be banned.
The bill authors know this is trampling on First Amendment liberties, yet they don’t pause for a moment to consider that federal and state laws prohibit youth from purchasing firearms.
Oh, that’s right. It’s already illegal for anyone under 21 to purchase a gun in the Golden State. Any gun. And then adults have to wait 10 days before taking possession of their new firearm. To say nothing of the background check they have to clear. Both for the gun, and for any ammunition they may want to buy.
Remember, though, this is California, where they’ve been solving their violent crime problem since the 1960s with one gun control bill after another. This one is sure to do the trick, though.
Gosh, it’s almost as if they won’t really be satisfied until it’s impossible to buy a gun legally in the state at all.