The Violence Policy Center issued a study detailing how firearms dealers and gun rights lobbyists attract children as young as six years old to hunting and target shooting, including advertising custom-color semi-automatic rifles.
Many rifles are being produced with plastic parts, less weight, and lighter recoil, which make them more usable for children, while more alarming to the Violence Policy Center are guns that come in bright colors like pink or red.
In one example, the Center points to "NRA Family," a website created by the National Rifle Association, the top lobbyist group for combating further gun control. The website hosts a article to praise the Thompson/Center Hotshot youth rifle, referring to it as "a tiny gun intended for the very youngest shooters -- the ultimate first gun" for children 6-12 years of age.
"Imagine the public outcry if the alcohol or tobacco industries introduced child-friendly versions of their adult products. Yet the firearms industry and gun lobby are doing all of these things and more in their aggressive efforts to market guns to children," Violence Policy Center Executive Director and study author Josh Sugarmann said in a statement.
The study also refers to a study by Everytown for Gun Safety, also a gun control advocate, which found one in three children live in a home with at least one gun and that on average, guns kill seven children and teenagers in the US everyday.