Gun Control Puritans not Keen on First Amendment Either

Rep. Robin Kelly, a freshman Democrat in the House, is proposing a sweeping infringement on the First Amendment rights of gun owners. The bill would essentially ban any marketing material designed for children. NRA youth days would be banned. It might even become illegal to advertise a club’s Junior Shooter’s program. From the bill:

(a) CONDUCT PROHIBITED. —Not later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act, the Federal Trade Commission shall promulgate rules in accordance with section 553 of title 5, United States Code, to prohibit any person from marketing firearms to children. Such rules shall include the following:

(1) A prohibition on the use of cartoon characters to promote firearms and firearm products.
(2) A prohibition on firearm brand name merchandise marketed for children (such as hats, t-shirts, and stuffed animals).
(3) A prohibition on the use of firearm marketing campaigns with the specific intent to appeal to children.
(4) A prohibition on the manufacturing of a gun with colors or designs that are specifically designed with the purpose to appeal to children.
(5) A prohibition on the manufacturing of a gun intended for use by children that does not clearly and conspicuously note the risk posed by the firearm by labeling somewhere visible on the firearm any of the following:

(A) “Real gun, not a toy.”.
(B) “Actual firearm the use of which may result in death or serious bodily injury.”.
(C) “Dangerous weapon.”
(D) Other similar language determined by the Federal Trade Commission.

Even though commercial speech is generally permitted greater restriction than non-commercial speech, I’m fairly certain this would be unconstitutionally over broad. Unfortunately, we set this precent when we allowed tobacco producers to be thrown under the bus, and our opponents have long tried to get the gun industry treated similarly to the tobacco industry, despite studies that have shown that learning the shooting sports are very beneficial to children.

These people are modern day puritans.

18 thoughts on “Gun Control Puritans not Keen on First Amendment Either”

  1. Question: Would (1) outlaw Eddie Eagle? It’s not a far cry for someone to say “This cartoon character talking about gun safety is basically selling guns to children.”

    1. Gun controlers would certianly make that argument.

      It’s part of why they hate Eddie Eagle so much, and this would ban Eddie while leaving their own abstinance only “gun safety” messages intact.

      1. Erin’s comment was the first thing that I thought of, too.

        And other parts of why they hate Eddie Eagle so much is that a) the E-ville NRA came up with it, and b) most unforgivably, it works.

        If it weren’t an NRA program, they’d be on board with it. The four instructions given for when kids find a gun:

        1. STOP! 2. Don’t touch it. 3. Leave the area. 4. Tell an adult.

        Easy peasy. And right in line with the “common-sense” “children shouldn’t be around guns” argument the antis use. The difference is that we believe kids can be taught/trained to be responsible around guns, and the antis believe nobody can be responsible around guns – except gov’t employees.

        If this bill passes, it’ll be challenged and (probably) shot down. If/when it doesn’t pass, the Left will claim the GOP is a tool of the gun lobby for opposing and stopping this “common-sense” safety measure. As if gagging someone’s – anyone’s – free speech rights are common-sense, or about safety.

        1. Heh. When I proposed (as a school board member) having the NRA provide us with (free to the taxpayer) Eddie Eagle materials so we could do gun safety training for all of our students, the (majority) liberal board members reacted as if I proposed issuing a dress code that mandated Allgemeine-SS uniforms.

          This, despite the facts that we:

          1. are a rural school district, where people regularly shoot in their backyards and most teenage and older males hunt or have hunted.

          2. have a JROTC rifle team that goes to Nationals every single year and almost always places or wins in at least one category

          1. “liberal board members reacted as if I proposed issuing a dress code that mandated Allgemeine-SS uniforms.”

            Actually, most would probably be ok with that…..

            1. So long as you emphasize the “socialism” part of “National Socialism”.

  2. Hmm… Worst case scenario, could grassroots groups still market to kids?

    I mean, advertising tobacco to kids is illegal now, but if I made a pro-smoking youtube video (I’m not affiliated with any tobacco company) that was aimed at kids, could I be arrested? Or does that only apply to companies selling tobacco?

    1. I don’t know what the law limiting tobacco advertising says, but this proposed statutes states pretty explicitly, “to prohibit any person from marketing firearms to children.” (emphasis added)

      So, no. Grassroots groups could not still “market” (using the term loosely) to kids.

      1. So what f you take your kids out hunting or shooting with you?
        Bet they will try to stretch it to cover that too…..

        Hell of a slippery slope there…..

  3. This bill’s sponsor is the candidate Bloomberg gave big money to in her Dem primary, correct?

    1. Correct. She was bought and paid for by Bloomberg in the race to succeed Jesse Jackson, Jr. If I remember correctly, Bloomberg committed $2 million to her race and to savage former Rep. Debbie Halvorson who was not as anti-gun as Kelly.

  4. The tobacco analogy doesn’t fly. There is no specific enumerated guarantee of a right to use tobacco.

    1. I agree with you.

      However, I wish to state that it’s popular for people to point to the Ninth Amendment and say “It’s protected right there, even though it’s not specifically enumerated.”

  5. I saw a pink “Hello Kitty” California-compliant rifle that was designed for two purposes: first, to try to counter the “evil black rifle” stereotype that is associated with AR-15s, and second, to appeal to his wife (who I am assuming was an adult, but then, this is California, so obviously weird things can happen there…).

    We need to keep in mind that things that might appeal to children, may very well also appeal to adults, and that such may very well be designed as political speech as well (which is the most important speech protected by the 1st Amendment).

    That, and there’s another right that ought to be protected by the 9th, but no one pays attention to anymore: we have the right to transmit our values to our children, and so designing guns for that purpose ought to be protected by that right. But that right isn’t enumerated, however, so it doesn’t count. :.(

  6. The problem is Ms. Kelly has no clue on child raising, when a child is young that’s when you teach them about firearms, the proper use and the dangers. As they grow up they understand that firearms are not used to kill rival gang members, and of course, miss and hit a 9 year old at a sleepover! Plus GOOD Parents would circumvent a Child from joining a gang, as well as making them stay in school. Ms. Kelly would do better and go to the crime ridden neighborhoods, and use her time to help get rid of this culture of no Parents, no schooling, spousal, as well as Child abuse, drugs, helping these poor Children grow up in a decent environment. I witnessed a delinquent Parent one time raise there hand to a very small Child, and said “behave of I will crack you upside the head”.That’s no way to talk to a Child! No wonder when they grow up they crack others upside the head, except they use a gun. Representative Kelly get out there and do some good, that’s why you were elected!!!

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