US House panel finds gun makers made over $1 billion in assault rifle sales

'The business practices of these gun manufacturers are deeply disturbing, exploitative, and reckless,' says lawmaker.

US House panel finds gun makers made over $1 billion in assault rifle sales

Five major gun manufacturers combined to make more than $1 billion in revenue from assault rifle sales in the past decade, the US House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Reform said Wednesday.

Following a devastating school shooting in Texas and a mass shooting that targeted Black people in New York earlier this year, the panel sent letters to the heads of Daniel Defense, Smith & Wesson Brands, Sturm, Ruger & Company, Sig Sauer and Bushmaster Firearms Industries in May asking for information on their marketing and sale of AR-15-style assault rifles.

The gunmen in the Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York shootings used AR-15 assault rifles to carry out their grisly rampages.

In addition to making more than $1 billion in the past 10 years, the panel found that Daniel Defense’s revenue from assault rifle sales tripled to more than $120 million in 2021, compared to 2019, and Ruger’s gross earnings nearly tripled during that period.

It also determined that gun manufacturers "employ a variety of financing tactics and manipulative marketing campaigns to sell AR-15-style rifles to civilians, including young people," and also do not track when their products have been illegally modified.

Each of the companies acknowledged that they do not have any systems or processes in place to gather safety data on their products and "were unable" to produce any internal information on the "dangers caused by selling their military-style weapons to civilians," the committee said in a statement.

Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said the companies are "selling the weapon of choice for mass murderers who terrorize young children at school, hunt down worshippers at churches and synagogues, and slaughter families on the Fourth of July."

"The business practices of these gun manufacturers are deeply disturbing, exploitative, and reckless," she said. "I hope my Committee’s findings and hearing serve as a call to action ahead of this week’s historic House vote to ban assault weapons and end the outrageous liability shield enjoyed by gun manufacturers."

Hüseyin Demir

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