House of Representatives committee is asking CEOs of arms manufacturer to testify

The House Oversight Committee is ramping up its investigation into gunmakers and has asked that CEOs from three major gunmakers appear before Congress later this month after a series of harrowing mass assault rifle shootings that killed and injured dozens of Americans.

Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (DN.Y.), the committee chair, on Wednesday sent letters to Marty Daniel, CEO of Daniel Defense, Mark Smith, President and CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands, and Christopher Killoy, Den Presidents and CEOs of Sturm, Ruger & Co., and requested testimony at a second hearing hosted by the Firearms Industry Inquiry Committee.

Daniel Defense is the maker of the DDM4 rifle that the gunman used to kill 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and a gunman used a Smith & Wesson M&P semi-automatic rifle Monday to kill at least seven Killing people and wounding dozens of others during a July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois.

The July 20 hearing comes after Maloney launched an investigation into gun manufacturers in May. Maloney asked five manufacturers for information about the manufacture, sale, and marketing of deadly weapons used in mass shootings that were legally purchased and used by the gunmen responsible for the Uvalde, Highland Park, and Buffalo slaughter.

Maloney challenged each company’s gross receipts and profits from the sale of semi-automatic rifles based on AR-15 style weapons, annual expenditures on advertising and marketing of these rifles, annual expenditures on federal and state lobbying, and the provision of Funding for the National Rifle Association. As the reason for the CEOs’ appearances, Maloney cites new financial information presented to the committee so far.

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“The information you have provided has increased the Committee’s concern that despite the harm these weapons cause, your company continues to benefit from the sale and marketing of weapons of war to civilians, does not pursue instances or patterns in which your products are used in crimes and failing to take other reasonable precautions to limit the injuries and deaths caused by your firearms,” ​​Maloney wrote in a letter to Killoy made available to the Washington Post.

She also wrote to Smith that his company “produced some of the information and documents in response to our request, but you have refused to provide information specifically on AR platform-based semi-automatic rifles, although you admit that you have such.” keep records.”

Gun manufacturers sold an estimated 19.9 million firearms in 2021 and 22.8 million firearms in 2020, according to the Small Arms Analytics and Forecasting research group. AR-15 style rifles have continued to grow in popularity and have become particularly lucrative for newer companies like Daniel Defense.

The first hearing hosted by the committee included gripping testimonies from survivors of mass shootings caused by assault rifles, including 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, who spoke about her horrifying experiences in a Robb Elementary School classroom, and a pediatrician, the victims of the Uvalde treated shooting. Roy Guerrero said during the hearing that bullets from the AR-15-style assault rifle “pulverized” and “decapitated” the bodies of children during the shooting.

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“Since the Oversight Committee began our investigation into the gun industry and its nefarious role in marketing these dangerous weapons, we have found that Daniel Defense, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger play a prominent role in an industry that sells billions of dollars earns these products, including the sale of the assault weapons used at Highland Park and Uvalde,” Maloney said in a statement. “I invite the CEOs of these firearms manufacturers to explain to Congress and the American people why they continue to sell products to civilians intended for use on the battlefield.”

Congress last month passed the bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which provides funding for mental health services and school safety initiatives, expands criminal background checks for some gun buyers, and grants federal grants to states that issue warning signals to keep guns away from those it has been determined that they are at risk of committing murder or attempting suicide. But Maloney wrote to CEOs that the law doesn’t go far enough.

“This law is an important step, but it does not ban assault weapons or implement other security solutions that the arms industry has aggressively worked to prevent,” she wrote. House of Representatives committee is asking CEOs of arms manufacturer to testify

James Brien

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