The most recent target of gun control activists’ ire is the newly announced JR-15. If you’re not familiar, the JR-15 is an AR-15 style rifle designed by the WEE1 Tactical company as part of its mission to “develop a line of shooting platforms that will safely help adults introduce children to the shooting sports.”
The JR-15 is a lightweight, shortened, .22 long rifle version of an AR-15 style rifle. The rifle features a “tamper resistant safety that puts the adult in control of the firearm’s safety switch.” It also ships with a one-round magazine (something that gun control groups would love to make mandatory for all firearms).
In every way, the rifle is designed to be a safe way for parents and mentors to teach children about the responsible operation of firearms from a young age. It will undoubtedly serve as a key development in increasing gun safety in the United States for generations to come.
But gun control activists don’t care about safety. Instead, supposed gun-safety groups have demonized the launch of the JR-15. The Violence Policy Center has called the product’s launch a “grotesque joke,” and Kris Brown, the president of the Brady Campaign, responded that “[g]uns should never be marketed or catered to children, full stop.”
A Losing Battle
These activists don’t care to learn anything about the product, or about the benefits of teaching children safe firearm ownership from a young age. Rather, they have taken an all-out offensive to rally support against the JR-15.
So why the push? Maybe, just maybe, it’s because they recognize that they’re fighting a losing battle. Because gun culture is evolving.
With the events of the past two years — including historic riots, pandemic restrictions, and a nationwide spike in murders — we have seen record numbers of first-time gun buyers. Many of them are women, racial minorities, and Democrats. Now, we’re seeing a clearer path to help those new gun owners, and others across the country, teach their children gun safety. That is what poses the real threat to their narrative, not the JR-15.
If these so-called gun safety activists truly cared about gun safety, they would cheer what WEE1 Tactical has achieved. The JR-15 is specifically designed with safety in mind. The shorter length and lighter weight make it much easier and safer for young people to operate the firearm.
Moreover, being chambered in a .22 long rifle (a very small round with little-to-no recoil and a short effective range) gives young firearms users the ability to recognize the potential dangers of firearms, without the same risk as larger calibers.
Instead of the traditional lever-flick AR-15 safety, the JR-15 features an advanced safety, which must be pulled out, using a significant amount of force, and rotated into the locked fire position before the rifle can fire. Finally, the rifle takes proprietary magazines that can be purchased in one-, ten-, or fifteen-round versions.
In other words, the JR-15 is a small-caliber rifle with advanced safety features and small-capacity magazines. In another world, the rifle would be a gun-control advocate’s dream. But because it is aimed at helping children become better, safer, and more responsible gun owners, it has become gun-control advocates’ nightmare.
We need more of today’s youth to learn how to safely operate firearms. Teaching the risks and uses of firearms early removes the mysticism of guns and will undoubtedly reduce youth-related firearm accidents. If safety is your goal, the JR-15 is a step in the right direction.