Senator Schumer is urging the FTC “to examine and investigate WEE1 Tactical to determine whether their marketing and advertising is not merely offensive, but also both deceptive and dangerously misleading to consumers.”
By Forum Staff
Amid another mass shooting and revealing that a Chicago-area company, WEE1 Tactical’s marketing and advertising might actually be breaking Federal Trade Commission laws, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Sunday urged the agency to open an investigation.
Schumer said the company, which is peddling a “JR-15” for sale—meant to be the children’s version of the AR-15—is using tactics and optics that could violate the law, including implicit and explicit uses.
“The last thing we need to be doing is shrinking deadly weapons of war and marketing them to young children,” Schumer said. “We must stop the raining of bullets on children and rein in this horrendous and gross marketing campaign, so others, just like it, don’t pop up. The FTC has the power and the proof to take a hard look at this dangerous ‘JR-15’ marketing effort.”
Schumer specifically asked the FTC to look into the ‘fact that people under the age of 18 cannot legally own a gun, so why is this company so fervently marketing to kids?’ Schumer said this is a serious question with federal consequences as he unveiled a public letter to the FTC and made the case for action. Schumer said that the bottom line here is simple: with the epidemic of youth gun violence and a series of recent mass shootings, an idea like this—a children’s AR-15—should never see the light of day.
According to the company’s advertising, “…the JR-15 is the first in a line of shooting platforms that will assist families” and “…functions like a modern sporting rifle, however and most importantly its small size, lightweight & rugged polymer construction and ergonomics are geared towards smaller enthusiasts.” It depicts a very small child operating the weapon with these claims.
Schumer hinted to federal action last week when he told the Daily News that the marketing of the JR-15 is a “serious question with federal consequences.”
In a letter to FTC Chairwoman Lina Khan, Schumer urged the agency “to investigate the advertising of WEE1 Tactical, an Illinois-based gunmaker, and the commercial debut of their ‘JR-15’ assault weapon. The .22 caliber long, JR-15, is ‘smaller and lighter’ than a standard AR-15, but WEE1 Tactical claimed in a November 2021 press release that the JR-15 ‘operates just like Mom and Dad’s gun.’ In addition, the company’s website features a small child, perhaps younger than five years-old, operating the weapon. The FTC should investigate both the company’s website and the firm’s larger marketing and advertising practices.
“WEE1 Tactical showcased the JR-15 this month at the annual SHOT (Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade) Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is abundantly clear that the firm is making an explicit effort to appeal to children in order to boost sales of this deadly weapon. While WEE1 Tactical’s marketing attempts to make the weapon appear safe for use by children, it is clearly no different than a deadly AR-15, which has already inflicted so much harm and unthinkable trauma on the children of this country.”
Schumer said he’s calling on the FTC “to examine and investigate WEE1 Tactical to determine whether their marketing and advertising is not merely offensive, but also both deceptive and dangerously misleading to consumers.”