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The Boston Globe

Nation

Gun makers reach out to children

NEW YORK — Threatened by long-term declining participation in shooting sports, the firearms industry has poured millions of dollars into a broad campaign to ensure its future by getting guns into the hands of more, and younger, children.

The industry’s strategies include giving firearms, ammunition, and money to youth groups; weakening state restrictions on hunting by young children; marketing an affordable military-style rifle for ‘‘junior shooters’’; sponsoring semiautomatic-handgun competitions for youths; and developing a target-shooting video game that promotes brand-name weapons, with links to the manufacturers websites.

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