UVALDE, Texas (CBS)
Gun control advocates have filed a criticism with the Federal Trade Fee, asking it to investigate the advertising and marketing tactics of Daniel Defense, the maker of a rifle used by the gunman in the lethal Uvalde elementary school taking pictures.
In a July 15 grievance to the FTC, the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Security alleges that Daniel Protection is violating the regulation by “marketing assault weapons to the civilian market with violent and militaristic imagery” and “appealing notably to the thrill-searching for and impulsive tendencies of inclined teens and young guys who are captivated to violence and army fantasies.”
The Uvalde gunman, who killed 19 schoolchildren and two instructors at an elementary college in Uvalde, Texas, legally procured two AR-design rifles before long immediately after he turned 18. 1 of those people rifles was a Daniel Defense products, which the complaint alleges was promoted by the gunmaker as “extremely maneuverable and effortless to shift around obstacles,” which the group claims is “a description extra apt for combat, as opposed to hunting or target taking pictures.”
The grievance also flags Daniel Defense for marketing and advertising its guns through initially-individual shooter online video video games these as “Call of Duty” and via social media visuals with pop-society features that are interesting to teenagers and children, these kinds of as one particular article of musician Put up Malone holding a Daniel Protection rifle.
“What it is, is a immediate promoting to youthful folks to acquire weapons of war,” John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, told CBS News’ Catherine Herridge.
Daniel Defense didn’t respond to a request for comment from CBS News. The FTC reported it doesn’t comment on specific conditions.
Promoting targets teenagers and youthful older people
Gun handle advocates and professionals say weapons like the AR-design gun employed in the Uvalde faculty taking pictures and other recent mass shootings are often promoted on social media by posts tailored to charm to young grownups and teenagers. The messaging typically seeks to body gun proprietors as tough and all set to confront home thieves and other threats.
Because the Uvalde school capturing, Daniel Defense’s marketing has drawn individual scrutiny for concentrating on teens and younger men. Its Instagram account attributes pictures of associates of the navy keeping its weapons, as very well as superstars these types of as actor Josh Brolin in “Sicario 2” as effectively as Write-up Malone wielding its products.
Amid the gunmaker’s preferred hashtags are #gunporn and #pewpew, with the latter referring to the sound outcome of guns in television shows and cartoons. The business also typically posts depictions of younger males holding the company’s firearms. Daniel Protection and other gun producers have presented payment strategies to support consumers order their weapons — which can expense a lot more than $2,000 — in installments.
These types of messages were being produced to attractiveness to the Uvalde shooter and many others like him, the complaint alleges.
“He has been described as a lonely teenager with an unstable household lifestyle who exhibited violent and self-hurt tendencies” and was a supporter of “Call of Responsibility,” the grievance claimed. “In quick, the shooter was the two at chance of violence and in good shape the youthful, male demographic that — as outlined previously mentioned — seems to be focused by the written content and placement of Daniel Defense’s marketing.”
The grievance alleges that Daniel Defense is engaged in “unfair and/or deceptive” internet marketing tactics beneath the FTC Act, which prohibits advertisements that “promote or model the unsafe or unlawful use of potentially hazardous merchandise.”
There have been effective situations in which shopper regulations have been utilised to sue gunmakers. A latest $73 million settlement for Sandy Hook victims’ households arrived following legal professionals pursued a authorized strategy professing the internet marketing of the gun employed in the massacre violated Connecticut’s fair-trade legislation.
The Everytown criticism statements, “Absent intervention by the FTC, the continuation of Daniel Defense’s marketing and advertising is possible to direct to upcoming tragedy.”