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Chairwoman Maloney Launches Investigation Into Manufacturers of Assault Weapons Used in Mass Shootings

Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2022)—Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent letters to gun manufacturers Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Inc., Daniel Defense, LLC, Sig Sauer, Inc., Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., and Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., requesting information regarding their manufacture, marketing, and sales of firearms used in mass shootings, ahead of the Committee’s upcoming hearing on gun violence on June 8, 2022.

“Our country faces an epidemic of gun violence, which is now the leading cause of death for children in the United States,” wrote Chairwoman Maloney.  “I am deeply concerned that gun manufacturers continue to profit from the sale of weapons of war, including the AR-15- style assault rifle that a white supremacist used to murder ten people last week in Buffalo, New York, and the AR-15-style assault rifle that was reportedly used this week in the massacre of at least 19 children and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Despite decades of rising gun deaths and mass murders using assault weapons, your company has continued to market assault weapons to civilians, reaping a profit from the deaths of innocent Americans.” 

On Tuesday afternoon, an 18-year-old gunman entered Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and opened fire on young school children.  While information is still being gathered, initial reports indicate that the shooter possessed a handgun and at least one AR-15-style rifle manufactured by Daniel Defense.  He reportedly used these weapons to kill at least 19 children and two teachers, and to injure multiple law enforcement officers.

This horrific attack followed a mass shooting just 10 days earlier, when a gunman wearing military gear opened fire on shoppers and workers at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York.  The shooter’s attack was racially motivated and meticulously planned to target a predominately Black community.   Using a Bushmaster XM-15, a semiautomatic rifle, the shooter murdered ten innocent people—including an armed security guard—and seriously wounded three others.  

The mass murders in Uvalde and Buffalo are just the latest examples of AR-15-style semiautomatic weapons sold by these companies being used to perpetrate mass shootings of innocent people.  In the past two decades, weapons of war manufactured by Bushmaster, Daniel Defense, Smith & Wesson Brands, Sig Sauer, and Ruger have been repeatedly used to carry out horrific and deadly attacks.

“Despite strong public support for an assault-weapon ban in light of the horrific violence perpetrated with assault-style rifles, your company continues to manufacture large quantities of assault weapons and aggressively market them to the public,” wrote Chairwoman Maloney.  “The Committee respects the rights of law-abiding Americans under the Second Amendment, but that does not excuse irresponsible corporate conduct that fuels deadly gun violence and endangers our children.  The Committee is investigating the sale and marketing of your company’s AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles and similar firearms to inform legislative efforts to achieve common-sense gun safety reform to save Americans’ lives.”

The Committee requested that the companies provide information regarding the manufacturing, sales, and marketing of semiautomatic rifles based on the AR platform and similar variants by June 2, 2022, and related documents by June 6, 2022.

Click here to read the letter to Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Inc.

Click here to read the letter to Daniel Defense, LLC.

Click here to read the letter to Sig Sauer, Inc.

Click here to read the letter to Smith &Wesson Brands, Inc.

Click here to read the letter to Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.

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