Competitive Shooting

California Targets Kids With New Anti-Gun Legislation

Young Duck Hunter

California — not considered by shooters’ to be reasonable or have “common sense” when it comes to gun legislation — is at it again with its prohibition of advertising to minors. As described by law makers (to some of the uneducated or unthinking California citizens), the law seems to make sense. It seems to parallel prohibitions to marketing tobacco products to minors, but tobacco and firearms are two totally different creatures.

Under the new law, firearm manufacturers and industry members are prohibited from advertising or marketing guns, ammunition, or the parts to build a firearm that are made or distributed in California. The language of the legislation states, “…in a manner that is designed, intended, or reasonably appears to be attractive to minors.” Accordingly, the bill prohibits marketing or advertising that uses “caricatures that reasonably appear to be minors or cartoon characters to promote firearm-related products, and firearm products that come in sizes and colors designed to be used by minors.”

California Eddie Eagle from NRA's GunSafe Program with four more cartoon characters
Based on a new video and website featuring Eddie Eagle and a group of new friends called the Wing Team, the new face of the program encompasses a diverse group of cartoon characters that children will find more relatable.

Is anyone thinking about the NRA’s Eddie Eagle after reading that? What about illustrations in a hunter safety course?

The penalty for violating California’s new law is up to $25,000 per violation. On top of that, the bill allows a person harmed by the violation to sue in a civil action to recover damages.

California’s governor, Gavin Newsom signed the bill saying:

“From our schools to our parks to our homes, our kids deserve to be safe — in California, we’re making that a reality. As the Supreme Court rolls back important gun safety protections and states across the country treat gun violence as inevitable, California is doubling down on common sense gun safety measures that save lives.”

Who really believes this will reduce any gun violence or make parks or schools any safer? What violence was incited or instigated by Eddie Eagle teaching kids gun safety?

The signing of the bill was not much of surprise and likely nothing more than ‘feel good’ politics when it comes to protecting kids. After all, the bill does not put more resource officers in the schools. Not surprising, the law comes just weeks after Governor Newsom and other anti-gun lawmakers promised to quickly draft multiple pieces of anti-gun legislation after the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas last May.

Sporting Clays
A well-fitting gun will dramatically increase a shooter’s hit rate and enjoyment. However, California’s new law would ban marketing youth models and could result in poor fitting equipment and more wounded game.

The bill is opposed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association, which wrote in an opposition statement that if the bill passed “…will result in unnecessary and costly lawsuits and task DOJ with even more unnecessary time-consuming mandates.” The association also called it an “unconstitutional restriction on lawful conduct.”

On its face, I can see where some people would jump to support the law — as described. However, like so many oppressive (and likely to be struck down as unconstitutional) laws, the devil is in the details. It is not until people think beyond how the law is presented that the flaws are easily understood.

The language of the bill is overly broad, which allows it to cover much more than the narrowly focused arguments laid out by anti-gun politicians. Beyond violating constitutionally protected freedoms, enforcement of the law would decimate youth firearms training and education in California. California’s citizens can argue over the law’s intent, however the fact that its enforcement would eliminate or significantly impede youth safety programs will be the consequence. Governor Newsome stated, “From our schools to our parks to our homes, our kids deserve to be safe.” Yet, this law significantly reduces the chances for kids to learn proper gun safety in the home and outside.

“Our entire youth education program is on hold because of this law,” said Paul Cain, president of SoCal Top Guns. “Thousands of kids have learned firearm safety and have competed at local, state, and national events for decades – and now that’s all gone.”

Younr girl in the prone position shooting a .22 LR rifle
Teaching kids how to properly handle firearms and firearm safety is the best way to reduce firearm accidents.

“Whether or not intentional, this poorly written and misguided law is already directly impacting hunting access for young people,” said Ben Cassidy, Safari Club International’s executive vice president of international and public affairs. “As a community, hunters have worked for decades to provide hunter safety and education for the next generation of hunters. This law directly undermines a critical community service.”

Is there hope for California and the next generation of hunters and shooters?

The short answer is, “Yes.” Several firearm-friendly groups have banded together to file suit against the new law, citing that it violates the First, Second, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

The expressed purpose of the legal challenge by Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, SoCal Top GunsSafari Club International and Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is to protect youth hunting, shooting sports, and education in the state. Although Governor Newsom paints the law as only a prohibition on marketing the sale of firearms to youth (who legally cannot buy a firearm, of course), the new law goes well beyond direct advertising and includes any marketing activity that involves firearms, firearm accessories, and many lawful pursuits of the shooting sports.

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As I have said, the law goes well beyond simply marketing firearms for purchase. The law would ban or affect the lawful use of firearms by minors. The law’s broad terms also prohibits marketing hunter education, school-sponsored firearms teams, youth hunts, youth camps that include firearms training and even short seminars or “how to” events.

Would it cover the sales of paintball or airsoft items that may also be used on a firearm? Will the broad nature of the law cover video games? After all, characters in first person shooter games are often based on real people in the firearms and shooting sports industry. The law is so broadly written that it bans social media, leaflets or flyers, videos, magazine articles or any other communication that showcases or illustrates the use of firearms by youth. Does this mean someone could claimed the child was harmed because they watched a YouTube video?

The potential of harm to the next generation is tremendous.

“Whether or not intentional, this poorly written and misguided law is already directly impacting hunting access for young people,” said Ben Cassidy, Safari Club International’s executive vice president of international and public affairs. “As a community, hunters have worked for decades to provide hunter safety and education for the next generation of hunters. This law directly undermines a critical community service.”

“This law is a prime example of rushing to action without fully understanding the consequences,” said Jeff Crane, president and CEO of the Congressional Sportsmen’s Foundation. “By significantly impacting the sporting conservation community’s ability to effectively recruit and train the next generation of sportsmen and women, this law will have far-reaching consequences on the very funding structure that underwrites the conservation of California’s wildlife and their habitats. All people of the state — not just hunters — should be outraged that this law is now on the books.”

“This law is a travesty that clearly violates several constitutional protections at once, while, ironically, undermining well established safety programs and education,” said Todd Adkins, Sportsmen’s Alliance vice president of government affairs. “In their haste to politicize firearms, Governor Newsom and the legislature have destroyed youth education and firearm-safety programs that have long been supported by Californians.”

“The law and intent of its author and Gov. Newsom is clearly discriminatory and meant to destroy our hunting heritage,” continued Cassidy. “The conservation community has a long history of protecting hunting while encouraging safe and responsible firearms use. We are proud to continue this tradition by fighting this irrational and unconstitutional overreach by Governor Newsom and his supporters.”

How do you think California’s new law will affect the future of Shooting Sports in California. Will it make California’s kids any safer in schools or parks? Share your answers in the comment section.

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Comments (23)

  1. I am trying to figure out where the fact checking comes in with some of the paranoid and delusional comments. I am a native Californian,my family’s been here since the 1800s and I am very grateful that y’all can’t adapt and survive here and have chosen to move.That’s why it’s called survival of the fittest,you have to get rid of the bad genes,you know,cull the herd.Where’s the logic in dammed tributaries and killing the ecosystem and the sportfishing industry, which state takes the water from that fine dam in Arizona?Dam I forgot that Arizona has it together.The desalination plants are going to be a needed infrastructure project and I am looking forward to seeing the manual labor supply coming from out of the state,I wonder why they have to come here to work.The undergrowth cleanup was a function of the federal government for decades and guess which orange lipped party cut that out of the budget. I am going to continue with protecting my own as I and my forefathers have done in this country since the 1400s, I have no problem teaching gun safety to my youth.Newsom has succeeded in doing what all politicians do,stupid spit, got you talking about him.

  2. So I see leftist asking “how do we address gun misuse among the young”. That is a fake concern and used only to stir up more unrest among the people and this proves it. Teach the kids all about firearms and many problems will be addressed. The real question is when will the real people of California and the rest of the country going to stand up and face down this satanic movement?

  3. Holy spit, let’s not train America’s youth on gun safety. California just needs to go away. People need to move to more gun friendly states. I truly believe to train the youth on gun safety to prevent gun accidents. That is what I did.

  4. I am old enough to remember having High School rifle ranges in almost all public High Schools. There were rifle teams just like any other sport. Young people learned marksmanship, safety and sportsmanship. I know what some of you folks are saying: “Sure, in rural schools maybe.” Well they had them in NYC! All the suburban schools too. When the Veterans from WW II came home and had seen what happened to the people that were unable to defend themselves, they insisted that ALL the newly built schools had rifle ranges and shooting programs. If one does not learn from history, one will almost certainly repeat it. By the way, we never had ANY “school shootings” back then either. Go figure.

  5. Teaching kids how to properly handle firearms and firearm safety is the best way to reduce firearm accidents. Great teacher, no safety glasses or ear protection. Thats the way to start them out safely!

  6. California’s got to be one of the worst states of ignorant stupid people that there has ever been where they come up with some of these laws and so forth is Way beyond me I wouldn’t live in California if you paid me to they’re just a bunch of dumbasses that don’t know what the hell they’re doing and I should keep their mouth shut to those things that they don’t know about

  7. This is a CA back door policy to end the use of guns in CA. They know if they remove guns from an entire generation they can just about end gun ownership in CA. Looks like another lawsuit to bring against CA by the NRA & GOA there. This is unconstitutional in a big way. We must stop this in it’s tracks!

  8. Newsome is all in for “safe kids”. He can start by not murdering them in the womb, stop pushing genital mutilation in the name of identity, and stop injecting them with deadly concoctions.

  9. Well, there goes a Christmas classic…I guess “A Christmas Story” about Ralphie wanting a Daisy Red Ryder Range 200 shot BB gun will be blacked out on all cable and broadcast channels in the God forsaken state of CA during the Christmas season.
    What a shame.

  10. So will Hollywood still be able to make movies that show kids with firearms? Be interesting if there is an exemption for the film industry as “art”.

  11. My family lived up the road from a sportsman club surrounded by almond country in Stanislaus county. It is beautiful, rural, and my personal heaven-on-earth. We left. We moved last year to middle Tennessee, and will never go back, except to visit family. California is a wonderful place filled with wonderful people who are surrounded geographically by city-dwelling Marxists. This law is just the latest example of California politics at their finest; they make me sick.

  12. I grew up in So Cal and until 2010 when it started getting stupid, so I moved out of Cali. Unfortunately “you can’t fix stupid” especially Leftist Dems. Kids who don’t learn about guns and gun safety at an early age, will be curious and that’s when accidents happen and people get hurt. When my daughter was 3 and old enough to understand her Dad carried a gun and had guns in the house, it was time to teach her about guns and end any curiosity. She was able to name every part of any gun and I didn’t have to worry about her mishandling a firearm. She learned safety at an early age that guns are tools not weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately California, you get what you VOTE for!!!

    1. I do not think it will directly, but I am sure new lawsuits challenging the new signage legislation are in the works. ~Dave

  13. Newsome gruesome and his tribe of uninformed ignorants sue like to choke the the library of laws with idiocy.

    How about building some dams to catch the Sierra run off????? Why not?

    How about cleaning up undergrowth, why not??

    How about destalinization of the huge collection of water off the coast? Why not?

    I guess half of the state who voted you in, agrees with the bush fires, the lack of water, the watering restrictions etc,the stupid gun laws disallowing lawful citizens to protect them selves from all of the illegals you sir and the goofball in the People’s House, let loose upon our countryside.

    Us folks in the wild desert wastes of Arizona do not have a water problem like the smart ass state to our west.

    Bu you get what you vote for.

    After 45 years in the once Golden state (now a gilded state_ I left. Best move ever.

  14. Its interesting that the F’ornians still allow rating their gunny movies so kids can still watch them. But then if they did rate them to prohibit kids, their entertainment revenue might take a serious hit.

  15. Governor “Nuisance”, along with the Bill’s Author (Rebecca Bauer-Kahan) and Ca. Attorney General Rob Bonta have a lot more to be concerned about than Law Suits by the California Rifle & Pistol Association.
    There are specific “Youth Model” Rifles and Shotguns offered by Henry Repeating Arms, Browning, CZ, Marlin, Remington, Savage, Mossberg and dozens of other manufacturers including Keystone (maker of the “Crickett” 22) and Rogue Rifle Co. (Maker of the “Chipmunk 22). Not to mention the Writers and Publishers of “Junior Shooters” magazine.
    The interpretation of this Bill is so vague that it could ban those classic advertisements for Daisy’s “Red Ryder” BB Gun! I fear that the Leftists and California’s Legislator has poked the wrong Bear.

  16. That law is insane, and the two face Demarats only believe in control, NOT the Constitution, kids, or ANY thing else that doesn’t fit what ThEY say we need, NOT what WE want, need or desire! How about tougher laws on criminals, who have proven they don’t care, just like the Demarats! Remember morons, you work for US, not the other way around, you two face power hunger losers!!

  17. Legislation crafted and signed by gun-ignorant morons meant to appeal to gun-ignorant citizens.
    What is it about “…..shall not be infringed” that these idiots can’t understand?

  18. This law is made to make kid ignorant about firearms. It won’t stop kids from getting trouble, it will push them to the forbidden fruit. They want to make firearms, icky, so that kids won’t want to use them, but it took 40 years of anti tobacco ads to change views of adults smoking, but kids still use tobacco.
    This is designed to create felons who will be second class citizens for life

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