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New Firearm JR-15 Designed for Younger Shooters Raises Concerns

August 9, 2023 | By Kali Girl

According to PBS, Illinois is taking steps to combat mass shootings by passing a new law that will prohibit the advertising of firearms that are considered a threat to public safety or that target children, extremists, or individuals likely to use the weapons unlawfully.

One focal point of the initiative, led by Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul, is the JR-15 firearm. This weapon, a compact variant of the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle, has been marketed using a slogan, “Get ’em One Like Yours.” 

The manufacturer claims intentional downsizing and enhanced safety measures to cater to novice users learning responsible weapon handling from adults.

Raoul worries this child-oriented approach might undermine adult supervision and encourage independent firearm use.

However, critics, particularly gun-rights advocates, argue that the law’s language is too vague and infringes on both the constitutionally protected right to own firearms and freedom of speech.

“We’ve gone after the marketing that has historically driven up the consumption by minors for those products that are harmful to them,” Raoul said. “The firearms industry shouldn’t be immune to the standards that we put on other industries.”

Sponsor Don Harmon said, “Some of the ads I’ve seen are just stomach-turning.

According to written statement from the manufacturer, Wee I Tactical, “The JR-15 .22 youth training rifle is for adults who wish to supervise the safe introduction of hunting and shooting sports to the next generation of responsible gun owners.”

“Parents and guardians wanting to pass on this American tradition have been purchasing small caliber, lighter youth training rifles for decades.”

The legislation, supported by Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker, aims to restrict the promotion of firearms that could contribute to violence.

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