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Dem. Rep. proposes ban of cartoon characters, stuffed animals to market guns

Robin Kelly welcomed to House by Speaker John Boehner after winning her special election.
Robin Kelly welcomed to House by Speaker John Boehner after winning her special election.
Tom Williams / Roll Call/Getty Images

If Rep. Robin Kelly, D-Ill., has her way, cartoon characters will no longer be used to market guns. T-shirts, hats and stuffed animals with firearm brands will also be prohibited if her bill is passed into law, The Blaze reported Thursday.

The bill, known as the "Children’s Firearm Marketing Safety Act," reflects the feeling on the left that guns and related products should not be marketed to children, Pete Kasperowicz wrote. Democrats, he added, claim that such marketing contributes to the shooting deaths of children across the country.

Other activities that would be banned include NRA "Youth Days," where parents and children are given an opportunity to try various firearms and participate in activities like roping cattle and shooting. The NRA recently held its second annual Youth Day at its convention in Indianapolis. According to the NRA, some 800 youths and their parents participated in the event. In addition to the event, the NRA sells merchandise branded with its logo.

Companies like Keystone Sporting Arms also sell firearms specifically designed for younger shooters. The .22 caliber "Crickett Rifle," for example, is billed as “my first rifle,” and uses a cartoon cricket dressed as a hunter.

Kelly's bill would ban all of this, and task the Federal Trade Commission with enforcement. It would also ban the manufacture of guns with colors or designs aimed at appealing to children. Youth-sized guns, like the Crickett, would have to bear a label warning the user that it is a real gun.

The bill does give states some flexibility, Kasperowicz added. States may block any of the prohibitions in the bill, provided they inform the FTC of their intentions.

Since the tragic Newtown school shootings, Democrats have done everything they could, short of repealing the Second Amendment, to restrict gun ownership. Some Democratic state legislators have proposed confiscation, while states like Rhode Island and New York have passed draconian gun control laws, prompting many to openly declare they would not comply.

Kelly's bill is seen by many as just another attempt by Democrats to control Americans' lives while demonizing guns. The bill, which in theory has little chance of passing a GOP-controlled House, has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce.