Washington, D.C. (Aug. 5, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, announced her intent to introduce legislation to hold gun manufacturers accountable for the damage inflicted by their products. The legislation will address some of the findings from the Committee’s investigation and July 27, 2022, hearing examining the role of the firearm industry in America’s gun violence epidemic.
“As children, teachers, and families continue to die from senseless gun violence, it is incomprehensible and unconscionable that the firearm industry has evaded accountability for the carnage they enable and profit exorbitantly from,” said Chairwoman Maloney. “Other industries are required to account for the damage caused by their products. Gun manufacturers that sell weapons of war to civilians should be treated no differently. I intend to release legislation that holds gunmakers accountable for their role in America’s gun violence epidemic.”
The Oversight Committee has been investigating America’s firearm industry for years. In 2019, the Committee launched an investigation into gun dealers that sell guns used in crimes. On April 28, 2022, the Committee released preliminary findings from its investigation, showing that a small number of gun dealers—particularly those in states with lax gun laws—have sold thousands of guns used in violent crimes.
On May 26, 2022, following the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, the Committee sent letters to Daniel Defense, LLC, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., and other manufacturers seeking information on their sales and marketing of AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles and similar firearms—including revenue and profit information, internal data on deaths or injuries caused by firearms they manufacture, and marketing and promotional materials.
On June 8, 2022, the Committee held a historic hearing with survivors and impacted family members from the mass shootings in Uvalde and Buffalo, as well as gun safety experts, advocates, and local elected officials. Following the hearing, on the same day, the House passed the Protecting Our Kids Act, a strong package of gun reform measures.
On July 27, 2022, the Committee held a hearing with the CEOs of Sturm, Ruger & Company and Daniel Defense, who refused to take responsibility for the use of their products in mass shootings, make any changes to make their products safer, or commit to start tracking the injuries and deaths caused by their products. After Smith & Wesson’s CEO Mark P. Smith refused to voluntarily comply with the Committee’s request that he testify about the company’s sales and marketing of AR-15-style weapons, Chairwoman Maloney issued a subpoena to Smith & Wesson to obtain key information necessary to the Committee’s investigation.
Ahead of the July 27 hearing, the Committee released alarming new findings from the Committee’s investigation into the five gun manufacturers’ sales and marketing of AR-15-style assault rifles. The Committee found that gun manufacturers collected more than $1 billion from the sales of AR-15 style semiautomatic weapons in the last decade, that the firearm industry employs a variety of manipulative marketing tactics to sell weapons of war to civilians, and that gun companies fail to track or monitor deaths, injuries, or crimes that occur using their products.
On July 29, 2022, following the Committee’s hearing with gun manufacturers, the House passed the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021.
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