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US firearms industry marketing to children at low ages

The American firearms industry is targeting children as young as six with brightly colored guns and encouraging parents to let children take up shooting at an early age.

A report says the firearms industry in the US is encouraging parents and tempting children at very low ages to take up shooting by selling brightly colored guns.

According to a Thursday report released by the Violence Policy Center, an organization dedicated to informing people about gun violence, US gun manufacturers are marketing to the youngest consumers because their primary market, white men, is aging.

"The firearms industry has set its sights on America's children. Much like the tobacco industry's search for replacement smokers, the gun industry is seeking replacement shooters," the group said in a statement.

"Along with the hope of increased gun sales, a corollary goal of this effort is the creation of the next generation of pro-gun advocates for future political battles," it added.

The report said, some manufacturers, targeting children as young as six, sell firearms in a variety of kid-friendly bright colors such as the color pink for girls.

It noted that the firearms industry and its lobby want parents to let their children "access guns at the earliest possible age."

Referring to the National Rifle Association (NRA) as the main gun lobby in the US, the Violence Policy Center said, the association previously had a website for its junior members, divided into "Under 8" and "8 and Up."

Research studies conducted by the group Everytown for Gun Safety show gun violence is rife in the US, where a third of children live in a household with at least one weapon.

Based on statistics, seven children and teens are killed with guns in the US on an average day.

Since December 2012 - when twenty children and six adults were fatally shot by a gunman at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut - US President Barack Obama has pushed for gun law reforms, including expanded background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.

But, the powerful gun lobby and its supporters in Congress have blocked the proposed measures.

Obama has said that the greatest frustration of his time in the office has been the inability to reduce unparalleled levels of gun violence in the United States.

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