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Following the accidental death of a firearms instructor last year when a girl he was instructing lost control of a micro Uzi machine gun Democrats in both the House and Senate introduced legislation making it a crime for a person under the age of 16 years old to hold a machine gun or “assault rifle,” which includes firearms such as the AR-15 rifle, no matter whether the gun is loaded or not. From the press conference:

The HEART Act is simple and straightforward: It prohibits the transfer of a machine gun or semiautomatic weapon to anyone under the age of 16. Not at a gun range, not at a gun show, not while hunting, not anywhere, anytime. Assault weapons are weapons of war and should not be allowed in the hands of children.

The full legislation is available here.

The intent here is simple: it’s another step in the process of stigmatizing guns in American culture by keeping children from learning about firearms.

According to our TTAG annual survey, the plurality of gun owners take their first shots when they are between six an ten years old (42.5%). The common thought process is that introducing firearms at an early age ingrains a level of respect for the objects, and proper instruction early on can do far more to promote safety and reduce accidental deaths than padlocks and gun safes alone.

Over the course of the last couple decades the popularity of the AR-15 rifle platform has exploded. Based on that same survey, roughly 80% of American gun owners have an AR-15 rifle (or other equivalent that would be considered by our friends in the gun-grabbing community as an “assault rifle”) in their collection. For some gun owners their AR-15 is their only firearm. Even with other guns available, the AR-15 is frequently preferred when teaching people (such as children) how to shoot because it’s easily re-configured to suit a child’s shorter size and reach while producing significantly less recoil than traditional “hunting rifles.”

If this legislation were to be be signed into law, gun owners would become criminals if their child so much as touched their AR-15.

This angle of attack on the American gun culture is well documented. Articles such as this one periodically point out that guns should be stigmatized like cigarettes have been — available only to adults and highly users ostracized — in order to degrade and diminished America’s gun culture. It’s part of a long game that would eventually, gradually, impose further restrictions on Second Amendment rights.

The gun control advocacy group Moms Demand Action been a primary proponent of this line of thinking calling programs that teach even basic gun safety to children (an attempt to reduce the accidental death rate among kids) “atrocious.”

While this latest legislation will be sold as an attempt to keep machine guns out of the hands of small children, what it’s actually doing is starting the process of criminalizing the process of parents teaching their kids about firearms safety. By keeping kids ignorant about safe gun handling practices as long as possible, they aim to eventually choke off the supply of new gun owners. All such a law would actually accomplish is to increase the likelihood of more children injured and killed in more firearm-related accidents.


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  1. So an amazing competitive shooter like Katelyn Francis would not be able to handle her own AR-15 until she was of age? Horse. Shit.

    • She also couldn’t use a pistol if it had a threaded barrel. These people are insane. Like I can’t fathom the ignorance here.

      • It’s not ignorance.

        Notice the language used:

        “The HEART Act is simple and straightforward: It prohibits the transfer of a machine gun or semiautomatic weapon to anyone under the age of 16. Not at a gun range, not at a gun show, not while hunting, not anywhere, anytime.”

        They want to change the meaning of any form of touching to be a ‘transfer’, and eventually require ATF control.

        • “including the temporary transfer of a machine gun or semiautomatic assault weapon to such individual for use in target shooting or on a firing or shooting range or for any other purpose.”

          Yes you are right it doesn’t include touching per se, but it makes touching and subtle manipulation of the controls the extend anyone under 16 would be able to perform.

    • How to make a Leftist support AR’s……..

      …make an AR15 with a speculum option that performs abortions.

  2. I’ll make a deal with them. Machine gun use ban for anyone 16 or younger ( enforcement rate 0%) in exchange for repeal of the Hughes amendment.

    • Even better. Repeal Hughes and vote this stupid shit down so we start gaining ground.

      • I keep waiting for the push-back, but all the legislation seem to only go in one direction. If the NRA was even a fraction as powerful as the media talking-heads and celebrity douche-bags claim, I’d be down at the mall right now buying a supressed sub-gun.

    • NO DEALS! This is election year grandstanding, pure and simple. They are proposing all kinds of stupid and unwinnable anti-gun legislation because someone in the (D) party has decided that it is THE winning issue this time around to get votes from the low-information voters, which is stupid on its face because those people would vote (D) anyway. There is absolutely zero reason to compromise with the Progressives/Liberals on this at all.

      Second point: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

      Do you see ANYTHING in those 27 words that 1. Places an age limitation on the right being protected, or 2. Gives the government the authority to determine at what age the right may be exercised?

  3. So, they want to ban kids from touching under-powered rifles with plastic stocks, grips, and accessory rails. Got it. It still sounds stupid as hell.

    • So then a 15 year old could shoot my double rifle with factory dangerous game solids that will go through 4 feet of buffalo…
      Huh. Imagine that.

  4. Ms Francis is obviously an inchoate savage murderer just awaiting her chance to explode into murderous savage fury with her assault rifle!!!! DMD

  5. Dammit quit coming up with these useless pieces of Legislation, AND FIX MY DAMN ROADS

    • No way, that would cost money. Feel good bills that have no chance of passing, and even if passed no chance of enforcement, are free. To demonstrate the futility of such a bill, all one really has to do is find a statistic as to the total number of annual injuries and fatalities attributable in part to a child’s access to an “assault weapon” which–and this is an important caveat–were transferred to the the child by a parent or other adult. Because no case without an injury will ever be prosecuted. Except in NY or NJ.

        • Yep. AZ 7th Congressional District right in the middle of the bluest part of the Phoenix area. Incidentally, it is an area known for high crime and high density housing…the usual traits of a liberal utopia.

    • You actually want the Feds to be in charge of your local streets??? That will work out well for you.

  6. Yea. That will promote safety. Outlaw practice, familiarization and learning safe handling of the most common firearms. One of the main tools at my disposal as a parent with kids and guns in the same house is to tell the kids that they can handle the guns any time. Just ask and we will get them out to practice safe handling and familiarization at least, take an impromptu trip to the range at best.

  7. We need to get firearms safety and marksmanship classes built into the curriculum of our public schools.

    • Nah. Get rid of public schools and encourage all parents to teach (or find suitable instruction for) their children firearms safety.

      Change I can believe in…

  8. Teaching your kid to shoot a rifle is protected speech. If they can’t figure out “… shall not be infringed.”, hit ’em with, “Congress shall make no law…” Maybe they’ll understand “No”. Not that I’m hopeful that any of these d’bags have read any of the Constitution or would care what it said if they did.

    Or how about; what happens in the privacy of my own home is none of government’s business. That’s worked on other issues.

  9. All such a law would actually accomplish is to increase the likelihood of more children injured and killed in more firearm-related accidents.
    So it would be a win-win. Reduce the number of new gun owners in the next generation, to reduce the number of gun rights supporters, while also increasing firearms-related accidents to increase the number of gun control supporters.
    After all, it’s okay to kill a few children, if it will help protect the children.

    • That’s exactly it.

      More people need to wake up to this reality. They no more want to prevent children hurting themselves (by any means, especially guns) than they want to walk on Jupiter.

  10. Only took them about a year to come up with this “law”.
    They must have become bored.
    Ran out of other useful laws to make themselves feel good.

  11. Ms Francis is a poor innocent young child who was taken over, possessed by the EVIL gun, She had no control, the GUN just WANTED to KILL!!!! Every one know guns make you crazy.

  12. Title of the article may as well read: “Democrats Propose Banning…” given the frequency of such idiotic proposals in the past five years alone

  13. And what precisely is the basis for Federal jurisdiction over a purely intrastate activity?


    • Come on, Ralph. Wickard v. Filburn. Allowing children to touch weapons acquired through interstate commerce will inevitably increase the demand for weapons through interstate commerce. Nothing is off limits!

    • If you want the real answer, here you go (challenged and upheld buy SCOTUS)

      “It shall be unlawful for any individual knowingly to possess a firearm that has moved in or that otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place that the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.”
      18 U.S.C. § 922(q)(2)(A)

    • Our illustrious junior senator hard at work. Ed Markey and Liz Warren are the pair that beats three of a kind.

  14. So would this apply to U.S. government officials who transferred machine guns to teenaged terrorists in Libya and Syria?

    No? Huh. What’s the matter with those lives? Not black enough?

  15. This is more about linking semi automatic rifles with machine guns more than anything. I also read an anti gun article recently that labeled 10/22’s as an assault rifle. If we let these people take an inch they will take the rest.

    • At least in Chicago, a 10/22 is an “assault rifle” if it has a threaded barrel.

    • If you have one with a threaded barrel, according to this bill it would be an assault rifle.

      • I’m in ny. I had to get rid of my custom target stock for my 10/22 because the thumb hole made it an assault weapon.

  16. Just like how my sons junior high got locked down for three hours last year over a spent .22lr casing found cold and mangled on the floor…nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the continued push to stigmatize guns and incite fear in people at the mere thought of them. What a load of horsesh!t.

    • OMG

      Heck, at a church I attended someone put .22 rounds in the offering at a youth event, and all it got was laughter.

    • “nothing to do with safety and everything to do with the continued push to stigmatize guns and incite fear in people at the mere thought of them. “


      They are fighting the culture war on guns the same way they conquered Freedom Of Speech.

      They could not do it “legally.” The pesky First Amendment would not allow them to ban “Anti-Marxist/Progressive” speech…anything against the party line.

      So, what did they do? They began a regimen of stigmatization. It started small, so the things they were asking people not to say sounded “reasonable.”

      And then it escalated.

      And grew.

      And festered.

      And where are we now? Looking at a girl from across a crowded room is “rape.” Preferring the slogan “All Lives Matter” is racist. Etc.

      This is what they are doing with guns. And, as has been mentioned here on TTAG recently, none other than Eric Holder stated this was a plan back in the 1990’s (when they were losing the ‘ban handguns’ movement).

  17. So, this is essentially ‘gun abstinence’ for kids.
    I remember those abstinence programs from my youth and how well they worked. Or rather, didn’t work. ?
    I started training my daughter with airsoft when she was four years old. Those @$$-hats can honk on the snotty end, trying to tell me what I can teach my child. My contempt for them is boundless.

    • “Those @$$-hats can honk on the snotty end, trying to tell me what I can teach my child. “

      And that is the only answer to this nonsense.

      They can eff right off. I’ll teach my children what I please.

  18. Publicity stunt; just a bunch of copied and pasted crap. And they are missing a bunch of key things for it to be “constitutional”

  19. I believe that, as a parent, I know best whether my children are old enough to learn to shoot any firearm. I do not need the government raising my children and dictating how they are to live. I, and they, are Americans.

    If more kids learned, as I did beginning at age 10, to properly handle firearms, which was common in the 1950s and 1960s, there would be far fewer accidents. Kids, according to my college classes in Early Childhood Education and experience with my children, are draw to “mystery objects”. My kids, as I did, learned about guns early. The mystery was taken away, and they became like a boring chair. So many kids I grew up with learned guns the same way that there was nobody for a kid to pull out a gun and show it off.

    So, Dems, take your gun control and stick it. How about getting back to your oaths of office where you swore to protect and defend the US Constitution. Why don’t you forget about guns and do something about roads, bridges, the economy, illegal aliens (illegal/undocumented… a rose by any other name…), and so many other problems this country faces. It’s blatantly obvious we can’t count on the president to do what is right, and you people sit around and let him and SCOTUS exceed the powers of their charters, and do nothing but complain about guns.

    • One important point: they don’t really think your kids are YOURS — just like you, your kids belong to The State.

  20. I will so break that law if they manage to pass it. My daughter has a pink muddy girl colt ar15 and is under 16 and loves it.
    You D-bags can suk it!!

  21. So a tube fed Marlin 60 .22lr rifle is dangerous because it’s semi-automatic, but a pump action tube fed .22lr like a winchester/rossi with the same capacity, along with a far more complex set of physical actions including pulling the rifle forward, potentially triggering another shot if handled incorrectly is less dangerous. Makes perfect sense…

    • It’s even dumber than that. The definition of “assault rifle” is the usual DEMOCRAT boiler plate.We are supposed to believe that your tube fed semi is safer than a semi where the bullets are kept in a stack. We are also supposed to believe that a gun is less safe if it has a pistol grip, or a forward grip, or a threaded barrel. And yes, the bill is very specific that 22LR rifles are included in the prohibition.

      • My bad for not reading the full text, you’re correct on the exceptions. Tube-fed 22’s are legal for the most part… Thank heavens no-one’s ever been killed with a .22 .

    • The true 110% FU response would be that you would train your kids to build their own fully automatic weapons and use them in their facebook posts to lure other children to want to seek to be POTG.

      But yes, must get the kiddlins to the range. The evil (D) is attempting to wipe out Full-auto firearms generationally (with (D)head Ohole’s ATF playing Fast N Furious exportation of some of the last remaining transferable Full-auto firearms so that the ATF could confiscate and ~ destroy if they came back across the border).

      110% push-back

  22. It’s an election year. This is purely so that Democrats trying to keep their seats can say that they voted to keep ‘weapons of war’ out of children’s hands. Or democrats trying to take a Republican seat being able to say that they voted to give machine guns and bazookas to kids to keep under their pillows at night.

  23. I’ve seen at least three stories on TTAG alone of underage children using firearms, including ARs, to defend themselves during a home-invasion.

    Can the government just take a few steps back from my face – I’d like to get a breath in once in a while?

  24. When I was 17 years old the military taught me how to operate a m16 and insisted I be good at it. They also handed me a 9mm berretta and I had to carry it openly.
    Square that concept for them.

  25. My first rifle was a Remington nylon 66. I received it when I was 10 years old. My brother taught his two kids to shoot on a ruger 10/22. This law would have made these examples illegal. But hey, if it “saves one life” (helps these democraps sleep at night).

  26. As usual, this is illogical and overreaching and punishes a whole class of people who have not committed any crime. The death of the alluded instructor was his own fault. What is next, prohibit bath tubs because people fall in them and get killed?

  27. It’s s stepping stone law. They get a little here and a little there, and down the road, they try to smack everyone down.
    Everyone needs to stand up to that crap and they can just KMA!

  28. My son is eagerly waiting to turn 12 (4 years to go) so he can get a “junior’s permit” and start shooting with his Dad.

    We have been discussing his training plan. Starting with an air-rifle and a single-shot .22 at an indoor bench rest range. Once he is proficient at this level, we will move to the outdoor range and do a few 100 metre matches with the .22 (No 8 training rifle). And then when he is comfortable with this we will move on the .223 repeating rifle. At all times under the supervision of myself or other accredited trainers.

    His mum however, doesn’t want him to do this until he is 18. I think she is afraid he will be given a rifle and ammunition and told to figure it out himself.

  29. AHAHAHAHAH what a load of steaming crap. You go ahead and pass that law, I will be god dammed if any son of a bitch is going to tell me how I raise my kids, in my home, on my land.

    We need the Republican response to be new laws that expand gun ownership, that limit gun control efforts, we need to use the tactics of Democratic party incrementalism RIGHT NOW to stop this stuff from continuing. The Republican party has to come together on 2A and fight this crap NOW. Trump(ets) better get on the ball or we will end up without any recourse but the worst, last option available to us all.

  30. Our draftees in the next big war will be shooting Nerf guns and trying to catch Pokemon.

    We’ll have to hire our new friends/mercy from Post Neo ISIL/Taliban to handle the dangerous hardware.

    • You know what?

      It dawns on me that you might well have hit on something with more truth to it than is comfortable to think about.

      I submit the following facts in evidence:

      (1) Progressives/Marxists in general HATE America….or “American ideals” at least.

      (2) “Behind every blade of grass” is a thing whether a Japanese military leader ever actually said it or not.

      (3) They are patient. They can wait a generation or two more for ‘gun ownership’ to dwindle, if they could just stop us old bitter-clingers from passing on the knowledge and passion to shoot to our children.

      Conclusion: Disarming the citizenry of the US is a path to a successful invasion.

      Given the personality and crimes of one of our ‘leading candidates’ for the Office of the President of the United States right now, a plan that leads to selling out the country in this manner would not surprise me one little bit.

  31. They’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
    Before they are six or seven or eight
    To hate all the people the Democrats hate
    They’ve got to be carefully taught

    — with apologies to Rodgers and Hammerstein

  32. What is the technical definition of “ass clown”?

    Does the punctuation go outside of the ” “?

    Oh Oh Mr. Kotter!!! I got it! If Debbie Wasserman Schultze (sp?) and Allan Grayson had a child, he or she would be the ultimate ass clown.

  33. I believe that 12 year old Vietnamese were and probably now various Muslamic kids are proficient with AK’s. And didn’t you have a video on a while ago of 12 year old Russian kids breaking down and reassembling AK’s? Perhaps he needs to go over to Iraq and explain his reasoning to a 12 year old terrorist in training with a loaded and charged AK.

  34. Since this is a cultural attack, I think we should propose legislation barring people registered as democrats, the ability to teach courses at all levels of education.

  35. “Periodically point out that guns should be stigmatized like cigarettes have been — available only to adults and highly ostracized.”


    Gun-ownership and training is not the only thing being ostracized in this way either.

  36. How I instruct and or train my children to handle firearms is in no way a function of government. Unconstitutional laws will be ignored.

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