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Senators Calls for FTC Investigation of Firearms Industry's Unfair & Deceptive Advertising

Today’s letter follows increased scrutiny of the marketing tactics employed by the manufacturer of the gun used to kill nineteen schoolchildren and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Today, U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Edward J. Markey (D-MA), and Chris Murphy (D-CT) led a group of twelve senators in calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to “to undertake an investigation and consider regulation of the unfair and deceptive advertising practices used by the firearms industry.” In a letter today to FTC Chair Khan, the senators highlighted the firearms industry’s efforts to mislead consumers about the safety of guns and the employment of advertising tactics that target children and teenagers – including using video games, popular musicians and television shows, and even Santa Claus to market its deadly products.  

“The industry regularly and routinely makes false and misleading representations about firearm safety and unfairly exploits children and teenagers through unfair and deceptive marketing practices, including targeting teenagers, particularly young men, with advertising for military-style weapons,” the senators wrote. “Time and again, these practices have had deadly consequences.”

The gun industry’s advertising and marketing practices have received increased attention following the massacre at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, where the mass shooter used an assault rifle manufactured by Daniel Defense. Daniel Defense’s marketing materials highlight the company’s military contracts and reference popular first-person shooter video games to target children and teenagers.

Earlier this year, the families of nine victims of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut secured a settlement of their claims against Remington Arms based on the company’s advertising practices.

Today’s letter was also signed by U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Jack Reed (D-RI).

The full text of the letter can be found here.