Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear Senate Bill 68. This legislation is intended to protect children during their online activities by prohibiting the marketing or advertising of services or products deemed “harmful to children,” on websites that are considered “directed to children.” Unfortunately, this legislation falls victim to the erroneous notion that firearms and firearm training courses are somehow to be included in that category. The bill specifically includes as “harmful to children” firearms, ammunition, BB guns, and firearms training courses.
The NRA has a longstanding tradition of providing youth firearms education and safety training. In addition, NRA’s award-winning Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program aims to teach young children how to avoid potential firearms accidents. The Eddie Eagle program is recognized as one of the most effective firearms safety programs in existence for the target age group, and is responsible for reducing firearm accidents for that age group by more than two-thirds.
Moreover, NRA youth are afforded many opportunities for safe firearms and marksmanship training and education through NRA programs. It is well-established that fostering respect and appreciation for the shooting sports among the youth not only contributes to the next generation of hunters and sportsmen, but contributes to safer firearms handling practices not only at a young age, but into adulthood.
This legislation has serious implications for not only NRA’s online presence, but for all hunting and shooting related websites. For example, the website for USA Shooting, the governing body for US Olympic shooting sports, contains a youth programs page, which hosts both information on training courses as well as advertisements for firearms, ammunition, and firearms training courses. This organization could fall under the auspices of this legislation.
Please contact your state Senator and ask them not to support this well-intentioned, but ultimately misguided legislation.
Your NRA-ILA will continue to keep you updated when more information is available.