Oct. 4—The families of victims of a mass shooting in the Chicago area have filed a civil suit against gun maker Smith & Wesson over claims of targeted advertising of young, troubled men.
The shooting in Highland Park claimed the lives of seven individuals after a gunman, a 21-year-old Robert "Bobby" E. Crimo III, opened fire at a Fourth of July parade from a rooftop over the summer. The lawsuit alleges Smith & Wesson uses marketing strategies that "appeal to the impulsive, risk-taking tendencies of civilian adolescent and post-adolescent males."
Locally, not everyone agrees gun advertising targets such a specific group.
"I think that it is male-centric advertising. However, I don't believe that the age has anything to do with it," said Nicholas Williams, general manager of Brother's Arms in Savannah, Missouri. "Nobody under the age of 18 can possess a firearm, especially not from a manufacturer or an FFL dealer."
Williams said he cannot speak for the entirety of the firearms community, but he does feel that the majority would agree.
"We're marketing our firearms to anybody who needs that little bit extra to protect themselves," Williams said. "It's a personal responsibility thing. It's ageless, it's genderless. It is for everybody."
Brother's Arms is a licensed firearms dealer and a USCCA certified firearm instructor where those in the area can get educated on gun use.