Pritzker says bill holds gun makers accountable for ‘unsafe marketing'

A new bill signed by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker will aim to hold gun manufacturers accountable for what leaders call “unsafe marketing practices,” but Republicans warn the measure is likely headed for legal challenges.

Pritzker signed the bill at the Gun Sense University training conference hosted by the advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety on Saturday.

“Today, I proudly signed the Firearm Industry Responsibility Act into law – finally holding gun manufacturers accountable for endangering the public safety and health of our people,” Pritzker said in a statement. “We hold opioid manufacturers accountable. Vaping companies accountable. Predatory lenders accountable. Gun manufacturers shouldn’t get to hide from the law – and now, they won’t be able to.”

According to the terms of the legislation, HB 218 will “prohibit advertising and marketing that encourages para-military or unlawful private militia activity and advertising to individuals under 18.”

The bill also prohibits companies from using advertising to target children through use of cartoons, stuffed animals and clothing, according to a press release.

The legislation empowers the Attorney General’s office to use the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act to enforce the bill.

“Depicting guns as tools for carnage is a dangerously irresponsible sales tactic that will undoubtedly lead to further murder and maiming of innocent people,” State Rep. Jennifer Gong-Gershowitz said in a statement. ‘Thankfully due to the law we are codifying today, any reckless companies participating in such behavior will face serious penalties for their wanton disregard for public safety.”

The measure passed on a party-line vote earlier this year, and Republicans warned at the time that it will face legal challenges on Second Amendment grounds.

“What we have here is, at best, a constitutionally-questionable bill that is going to require our state to expend resources in defending it because it’s already been said that a challenge is going to come,” Rep. Dan Ugaste said to the State Journal-Register. “It’s happened in every other state that’s passed this legislation.”

The bill takes effect immediately, according to the legislature.

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