Three days after 19 children and two adults were murdered by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform announced it had asked five gun manufacturers for data about the production and sale of semi-automatic weapons.
Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) issued letters to Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Daniel Defense, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson Brands, and Strum, Ruger & Company on Friday, accusing them of “aggressively” marketing assault weapons to the general public, despite “strong public support for an assault-weapon ban.”
“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,” Maloney wrote.
“Despite decades of rising gun deaths and mass murderers using assault weapons, your company has continued to market assault weapons to civilians, reaping a profit from the deaths of innocent Americans.”
Specifically, the panel wants the manufacturers to reveal their “annual gross revenue and profit” from semi-automatic rifle sales; the number of semi-automatic weapons sold to distributors, retailers, consumers and government agencies; and the amount the companies have spent on advertising and marketing semi-automatic rifles — all within the past decade.
Maloney has also asked the five companies to reveal how much they have spent annually on federal and state lobbying and the amount of funding provided to the National Rifle Association since 2012.
Lastly, the chairwoman has asked the manufacturers if they monitor or otherwise track the number of deaths, injuries, or crimes caused by or carried out with their semi-automatic rifles — and to turn over the relevant data if available.
Maloney instructed the companies to provide the information by June 6, as the oversight committee will be holding a hearing two days later “to examine the root cause of gun violence and evaluate measures to prevent further loss of life from firearms.”
At least one of the rifles purchased by Uvalde shooter Salvador Ramos was manufactured by Daniel Defense.
Ten days earlier, Payton Gendron allegedly used a Bushmaster assault rifle to kill 10 black people in a Buffalo grocery store.
“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,” the committee said in a statement. “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.”
President Biden has explicitly called for stricter gun laws following the two mass shootings and accused companies of “aggressively marketing” assault rifles because they “make them the most and largest profit.”
The latest from the Texas school shooting
Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Daniel Defense, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson Brands, and Strum, Ruger & Company did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.