Faced with the steady decline in household gun ownership, the gun industry is selling its products to a shrinking customer base. In response, the firearms industry has made military-style assault weapons the focus of their marketing and sales efforts, while using increasingly militarized rhetoric and images to sell these weapons.
VPC research documents how gun industry marketing routinely uses military-style imagery and language, utilizing phrases like “justice,” “mission,” “duty,” and “patrol” in their catalog and advertising copy. The rhetoric and images focus on the use of these firearms in anti-personnel, military, and law enforcement-style situations, despite the fact that they are being sold to civilians. While the industry never specifies what “mission” their products are needed for, one horrific answer emerges when these same firearms are used in mass shootings.