Menendez, Booker cosponsor legislation to stop dangerous gun marketing
The Responsible Firearm Marketing Act directs the FTC to study marketing practices that may encourage the illegal sale of dangerous weapons
NEW JERSEY – U.S. Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker (both-D-N.J.) cosponsored the Responsible Firearms Marketing Act, which directs the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to study the dangers posed by unfair and deceptive marketing and advertising practices conducted by the gun industry.
The legislation would require the Commission to study the actions of gun manufacturers, importers, and dealers, including those which might target individuals younger than 18-years-old, encourage illegal use of a firearm, or related to the sale of semiautomatic assault weapons.
“The gun industry, including manufacturers, importers, and dealers, endangers the lives of New Jerseyans when it advertises illegal uses of firearms or targets individuals who are not legally eligible to own a gun,” Menendez said. “Not only will the Responsible Firearms Marketing Act require the FTC to study the risk these marketing strategies pose to residents of New Jersey, but it also enables the agency to seek fines and reimbursement of damages for violations of existing rules. Legislation like this is necessary to protect our communities from the illegal use of firearms and semiautomatic assault weapons.”
“We must end the deceptive marketing practices by the firearms industry that exacerbate gun violence,” Booker said. “This legislation aims to hold gun manufacturers accountable for their exploitative practices that prioritize profits over public safety. By putting an end to dishonest advertisements and promotional campaigns, we can protect communities and prevent the sale of dangerous weapons through misleading tactics.”
The Responsible Firearms Marketing Act would also direct the FTC to apply existing rules regarding unfair marketing practices to firearm distributors, which include punitive fines and payment of damages to consumers for each knowing violation of the rules.
The legislation has been endorsed by March For Our Lives, Brady, Giffords, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Sandy Hook Promise.
This year, Sen. Menendez joined several of his colleagues in forming the first Senate Gun Violence Prevention Caucus to coordinate common-sense solutions to battle the epidemic of gun violence in America. Earlier this month, Sen. Menendez joined with Newark officials, community violence intervention leaders and gun safety advocates to call on the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to implement rules to help close the background check loophole.
In February, the Senator led his colleagues in the reintroduction of the Keep Americans Safe Act, which would ban the importation, sale, manufacturing, transfer, or possession of high-capacity magazines. He also reintroduced the Gun Records Restoration and Preservation Act, which would require the ATF and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to collect, preserve, and disclose gun records and gun tracing data. Sen. Menendez also joined several of his colleagues this year in reintroducing legislation to ban assault weapons, close the Charleston Loophole, and require gun owners secure their firearms in a secure gun storage.
In 2022, Sen. Menendez reintroduced the Federal Firearm Licensing Act that would require individuals to obtain a firearm license from the Department of Justice (DOJ) before purchasing or receiving a firearm. He also urged the Biden Administration to do more to address the ghost gun loophole based on legislation he has authored, which would prohibit the online distribution of blueprints and instructions that allow for the 3D printing of firearms.
Also in 2021, Sen. Menendez, alongside 16 Senate Democrats and 99 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, urged the U.S. Department of Education in a letter to raise awareness about securely storing guns safely and away from kids following the tragic shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan.
In 2020, the Senator introduced the Untraceable Firearms Act to ban “ghost” guns, and in the same year introduced the Stop Online Fraudulent Sales of Firearms Act that would to prevent gun sellers from circumventing technology companies’ terms of service by making it illegal to fraudulently sell firearms and ammunition online.