A manufacturer of children's guns in the sights of the US Congress
Eva Deschamps / January 28, 2023
A semi-automatic rifle designed specifically for children: Democratic senators on Thursday strongly denounced the business practices of a U.S. manufacturer of small, light, lethal weapons.
The JR-15, based on an assault rifle model used in several deadly shootings, is "absolutely sickening," condemned Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer.
The last thing we should be doing is downsizing these weapons of war and marketing them to children," he said, urging the U.S. Consumer Protection Agency (FTC) to open an investigation into its manufacturer.
The rifle, which weighs barely a kilo, shoots live ammunition well. Supplied with magazines of one, five or ten rounds of .22 caliber rifle ammunition, it was first marketed last January at a price of $389.
The company WEE1 Tactical, which sells this weapon, describes it as "a piece of American freedom" intended "for the smaller enthusiast."
On its website, it features a blonde girl looking through the sights of one of these guns in the snow.
Contacted by AFP, the company defended the marketing of its weapon, which it said has "a safety mechanism" present on no other gun.
"Faced with the epidemic of gun violence among young people and shootings, a weapon like this one "should simply not exist," said Chuck Schumer.
He used as an example the case of a 6-year-old child who shot and killed his teacher earlier this month in a Virginia school.
Shootings are a recurring plague in the United States where the right to own guns is guaranteed by the Constitution.
On Thursday, President Joe Biden again urged lawmakers to ban assault rifles as a matter of urgency. But attempts to regulate their sale are often blocked in the U.S. Congress, where gun lobbies wield strong influence.