The Intercept: EVEN AS A STUDENT MOVEMENT RISES, GUN MANUFACTURERS ARE TARGETING YOUNG PEOPLE
For years, gun manufacturers and industry-supported associations have focused their energy on transforming young Americans into the next generation of shooters. Using the appeal of a real-word version of the video game-style experience, the industry is pursuing young people to bolster revenue amid slumping sales. While the industry soars under Democratic governance — for fear that imminent regulations will make purchases more difficult — gun sales have been down since President Donald Trump’s election....

With the aid of advertising that draws on a video game aesthetic, gun companies and their allies, including the National Rifle Association, have increasingly shifted their efforts to target young, first-time gun buyers....

At the Bank of America Leveraged Finance Conference in November, the CFO of one of the largest companies involved in gun accessories and ammunition was explicit about the video-game appeal to young gun enthusiasts. “It has become a recreational shooting market, partly driven by the Xbox generation coming of age,” said Stephen Nolan, of Vista Outdoor. “And two trends which bode very well to the market long term: significant influx of younger shooters and significant influx of female shooters into the market.” Younger shooters, he explained, look to buy paper targets of zombies or vampires, and are more interested in buying high volumes of ammunition....

Companies hawk zombie-themed gun apparel and other youth oriented gun accessories on social media. Vista Outdoors sponsors shooting events for Boy Scout troops. In 2012, EA Games partnered with a gun companies such as Magpul, McMillan, and others to sell guns and other items featured in the the game “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” to consumers.
There's also a magazine called Junior Shooters.

I saw this discussed on Democracy Now this morning: As Students Demand Gun Control, Arms Manufacturers Continue Targeting “Next Generation of Shooters”
Well, to speak more about firearms, gun manufacturers and the unprecedented youth movement for gun control, we’re joined now by The Intercept’s investigative reporter Lee Fang, his new piece headlined “Even as a Student Movement Rises, Gun Manufacturers Are Targeting Young People.”

Lee, welcome back to Democracy Now! How are gun manufacturers targeting young people?

LEE FANG: Hi, Amy. Thanks for having me.

You know, we took a look at investor reports from gun manufacturers and other gun industry companies, and there’s a number of reasons why, but gun executives say they’re making a new push to target younger generations, teenagers, millennials, mainly because gun sales have been plummeting over the last year. That’s partially because, with a Republican president and Republicans in power in Congress, there has been little fear of gun control. And what the gun industry has done historically is that they’ve used the potential for gun control to spur panic buying, often using third parties like the NRA to kind of whip up hysteria. And without that kind of fear of gun control, there’s been less gun sales, so they’re attempting to grow their market.

Also, there’s new analysis from the gun industry showing that young people are not buying guns like older generations for hunting. They’re mostly kind of emulating video game culture. You know, they’re going to gun stores, buying targets of vampires and zombies, and going to the gun range and buying really sophisticated weapons, lots of ammunition. This is really, as one gun industry executive said, the Xbox generation that they’re trying to target. So, even as there’s a new youth-led student movement calling for gun control, this is coming at a time when the gun industry is hoping to grow their market share by selling more guns to young people.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Lee, could you also talk about the Koch brothers and guns and the network that the Koch brothers have built up to fund campaigns, both advocacy campaigns and political campaigns?

LEE FANG: Well, you know, the interesting thing here with the Koch brothers and guns is that I don’t believe that the Koch brothers have a strong interest in gun control or no gun control. But they do understand that this is an issue that whips up the conservative base, that Republican voters are very likely to vote on gun issues. So, you know, historically, we’ve seen the Koch brothers use their undisclosed money organizations to fund the NRA. That’s because the NRA will go out and engage in election efforts to activate Republican base voters to get them to the polls. So, you know, when you see television advertisements from the NRA, that money does come from NRA members, from gun companies, but it also can come from groups like the Koch brothers, that are hoping to use them as kind of an identity group to activate their base voters. ...


AMY GOODMAN: Lee, as you write about the efforts by gun manufacturers to market to young people, through magazines like Junior Shooters, we’re showing some of the magazine—the covers of the magazine, for our viewers, which show young people holding rifles and handguns, with cover lines like “Glocks Are for Girls” and “Meet Spud: Fast Draw at Age 11.” Other companies, including gun manufacturer Hogue, Inc., sell things like green glow-in-the-dark handguns and shotguns and accessories, marketed to kids so they can, quote, “hunt zombies in style,” what you referred to earlier. Explain the whole push to go to younger and younger people....

LEE FANG:... There’s been partnerships even with video game companies. Electronic Arts, several years ago, had a partnership with several gun companies, where, you know, for a first-person shooter, players could play the game and then go be directly connected to a marketplace where they could buy weapons from the game directly from the manufacturers. So there’s a multitude of marketing efforts that are geared towards young people. And, you know, I think if Congress is looking towards enacting gun control, the marketing efforts might be a part of that larger national conversation....
You can watch the interview online to see images of the guns, accessories and the magazine covers.