AR-15 style guns have brought in over $1 billion in 10 years
without objection. The chair is authorized to declare *** recess of the committee at any time. I now recognize myself for an opening statement today, we’re holding our second hearing on the crisis of gun violence in America. Seven weeks ago, this committee heard heartbreaking testimony from witnesses whose lives were forever changed by gun violence, including Mia, Sorry Oh, 1/4 grader who survived the massacre in vivaldi by smearing herself with blood so that they did not recognize her. Gun violence is now the top killer of Children in the United States, causing more deaths in Children than car accidents and 2020, more than 45,000 people were killed by gun violence, the highest number ever recorded in our country. And since our first hearing, the evil of gun violence has continued to shatter our communities. On four July, *** gunman rained down bullets on families at *** parade in Highland Park Illinois. He killed seven people and injured dozens more. That shooter like the killers in Vivaldi, buffalo, las Vegas, Parkland and Newtown used an ***. R 15 style rifle. This is an ultra deadly weapon engineered to kill enemy soldiers on the battlefield. Yet the gun industry has flooded our neighborhoods, our schools and even our churches and synagogues with these deadly weapons and has gotten rich doing it. That is why I launched an investigation into the gun industry this morning, I released *** memo with our initial findings and what we found is appalling. Our investigation shows that five major gun manufacturers collected *** total of more than *** billion dollars from the sale of assault rifles over the last decade. One company Ruger made over $100 million AR 15-style rifles in 2021 and more than doubling what it made the year before. Another company, Daniel Defense, tripled its revenue from these rifles from 2019 to 2021 And Smith and Wesson brought in over $125 million 2021. Our investigation also found that gun manufacturers use dangerous marketing tactics to sell assault weapons to the public that includes marketing to Children, preying on young men’s insecurities and even appealing to violent white supremacists. Finally, we found that even as guns kill more americans than ever, none of those companies take even best basic steps to monitor the deaths and injuries caused by their products. This is beyond irresponsible. At the end of our last hearing, I vowed that this committee would hold *** second hearing. So the committee and the american people can hear directly from the gun industry about why they continue to sell the weapons of choice to mass murderers. Today we will hear from C. E. O. S of two gun manufacturers who sold assault rifles used by mass shooters, Daniel defense and Ruger Daniel Defense sold the assault weapon that was used in Uvalde to murder 19 Children and two teachers and to wound 18 others and Ruger is the largest rifle manufacturer in the us. Their assault weapon was used to murder more than two dozen people at *** church in Sutherland springs texas. We also invited Mark smith, the Ceo of smith and Wesson. His company is the second leading rifle manufacturer in the country and is responsible for the weapons used by mass murderers in Highland park in Parkland and in other mass shootings, mr smith promised he would testify, but then he went back on his word perhaps because he did not want to take responsibility for the death and destruction his company has caused. But the time for dodging accountability is over. Today. I’m announcing my intent to issue *** subpoena for documents from smith and Wesson’s Ceo and other top executives so that we can finally get answers about why this company is selling assault weapons to mass murderers, answers. We were hoping to get at today’s hearing. After we announced this hearing, the committee heard from victims, family members and survivors of gun violence from across our country who wanted to share their stories and their questions for the gun industry. I’d like to play their video. Now let’s please play the video. Hi, my name is Nicole and nearly 10 years ago I survived the Sandy Hook shooting in my elementary school when I was just seven years old. Still to this day, I struggled through the horrible aftermath and PTSD. Our family was at the parade when I saw the shooter emerge above the second floor roof line and point his long gun and my family and those around us and rapidly fire. I threw my wife and son behind *** metal park bench to save our lives. After the shooting stopped, I saw the father of cooper roberts stand and scream for help while my wife saw their son cooper convulsing on the ground, shot through the abdomen and spine as we ran clutching hands not knowing if someone was going to shoot us and if we were going to live or die, my son lost *** huge part of his innocence. He is not the same person, he’s broken and every day my husband and I are heartbroken as we try to help him get back to the Carefree Sweet Little Boy. He was before this happened. Hi, I’m Jasmine Cassidy’s, I’m 17 and I lost my little sister Jackie at the elementary shooting in New Valley texas. This picture was taken On her first communion on May 10 16 days later she was shot and killed using *** Daniel defense. There are 15. Hello, my name is Ana Rodriguez. I lost my daughter, my Juliana Rodriguez on May 24 2022 at the Rob School shooting. Michael was *** sweet 10 year old girl who dreamed of attending Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi to pursue *** career in marine biology. Michael was robbed of her future due to gun violence. My fiance was shot and killed on May 14 by *** white supremacist when he went into taps to buy our son *** birthday cake. The shooter killed my fiance with *** Bushmaster XM 15 rifle. You also handed him my 12 gauge shotgun, *** bolt action rifle, full body armor and *** car full of ammunition? My name is fred Guttenberg, I am the father of jesse and Jaime Guttenberg. On February 14th, 2018, I sent my two Children to school to learn safely. Towards the end of that day, *** gunman shot up at my daughter’s school killing 17. My daughter was one of the 17 killed. These people want to know what are you doing to stop these shootings. Do you know how many Children have been exposed to gun violence in schools since columbine? What are you going to do to make sure that your products don’t get into the hands of *** waste supremacist mass shooter ever again. Who will take *** child’s father away. Okay, these are people are demanding answers and accountability from the gun industry and I intend to get both Today following today’s hearing house democrats will continue to take bold action to stop the bloodshed. Later this week. We hope to vote on the first assault weapon ban in nearly 30 years. The house is also planning to take action to end the outrageous legal immunity that has protected the gun industry from lawsuits for far too long and in the coming weeks, I intend to introduce additional legislation to hold the gun industry accountable for the damage inflicted by their products just like the car industry, the pharmaceutical industry or any other american business. Let me close by addressing my republican colleagues. I know that you value the rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment and so do I. But even Justice Scalia recognized that, quote, The rights secured by the 2nd Amendment is not unlimited. End quote. Even as we protect this right, we cannot ignore our fundamental obligation to protect the public, especially our Children. I hope all of my colleagues will join me in finally taking action to end this crisis, I now yield to the distinguished ranking member Mr comer for his opening statement. Thank you Chairwoman Maloney. As elected representatives in Congress, it’s our responsibility to work to ensure the law is enforced to reduce violent crime. The violence that began during the summer of 2020 continues to increase, murders are up, aggravated assault er up and we must reverse this trend ironically, cities with the worst crime rates are the hardest place to buy guns. Years of gun control laws in cities like new york and Chicago have failed. That’s why I will continue to protect the rights of all law abiding gun owners who safely use store and carry firearms, including the Ar 15, which is the most popular rifle in the United States. It’s become clear that the two parties in Washington have very different solutions of putting an end to the violent crime wave across the nation? Republicans want to target criminals. Democrats want to target lawful gun owners and take away their guns. We all took an oath to support and defend the constitution. The Second Amendment ensures the rights of individuals to keep and bear arms and defend themselves in times of danger. Just recently, the Supreme Court reaffirmed our right of self defense enshrined in the Second Amendment. Meanwhile, democrats and President biden continue to blame american companies for various national crises that their policies have made worse from the price of gasoline to the surge in violent crime. Democrats are quick to point the finger at american industry, their targets today, the american firearms industry, what did the american firearm industry do wrong? Their customers are allowed to lawfully buy guns. Their customers are allowed to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms for their protection and other lawful purposes. Gun gun manufacturers do not cause violent crime, criminals cause violent crime. As the democrats continue their obsession with vilifying american companies, they refuse to conduct any oversight over the biden administration and the federal government. It’s not surprising that the lugar center *** nonpartisan congressional rating group has given the democrats in our committee and f for oversight. Democrats have no problem with subpoenaing oil companies and private citizens yet. We haven’t heard from *** single biden administration, Cabinet Secretary this entire Congress. When are they going to get *** subpoena? We invited Attorney General Garland today’s hearing since he’s responsible for agencies like the FBI and *** T. F. He’s not here in february. We invited the Department of Energy Secretary to talk about gas prices but you couldn’t make it. Just this week. We learned that democrats get the same response from the administration as republicans. They refused to show up after both E. P. ***. And F. ***. *** rejected an invitation to tomorrow’s environmental subcommittee hearing. Democrats were so desperate to secure the participation of the administration that they offered to change the scope of the hearing so that both agencies would be comfortable testifying. It looks like they still aren’t going to show up. Americans are suffering from the effects of an open border including fentaNYL streaming across into the hands of our youth inflation at *** 40 year high And last month gas process hit *** record of over $5 *** gallon nationwide madam. Chairwoman. It’s time that we hear directly from the people in the administration making policy decisions, impacting the lives of all americans. I would like to enter into the record *** letter from democrats subcommittee Chair Ro Khanna expressing exasperation with the E. P. ***. For not appearing at *** hearing tomorrow without objection. I would also like to enter to the record *** letter that committee republicans sent you earlier today saying that we support issuing subpoenas to administration officials. If they are not appearing voluntarily without objection. Let’s hold the biden administration to the same standard that you hold. Private companies show up or get *** subpoena. It’s time that we do the job the american people sent us here to do holding the government accountable instead of holding hearings like this to score political points against private companies as I closed madam chair, will you commit to holding one hearing Before the end of the year with the Cabinet Secretary? Just one hearing With one Cabinet Secretary. I will take it under advisement and now we will introduce our witnesses first we will hear from marty Daniel, chief executive officer of Daniel defense LLC. Then we will hear from Christopher kill Oy. President and chief executive officer of strum Ruger company inc. Then we will hear from brian Bussey, senior advisor at Giffords Law center. Then we will hear from kelly Sampson, senior counsel and director of racial justice at brady United against gun violence. Mm Finally, we will hear from Antonio Okafor. National director of women’s outreach at gun owners of America. In addition to our witnesses, we also have in the hearing room victims and survivors of the mass shooting in Uvalde and Highland Park who will be observing our hearing. We are honored by their presence of these brave men and women today in particular. I want to welcome Felix and Kimberly rubio who testified at our previous hearing about their heartbreaking loss of their daughter lexi rubio. The witnesses will be in muted so we can swear them in. Please raise your right hand. Do you swear or affirm that the testimony you’re about to give us the truth? The whole truth and nothing but the truth. So help you. God, I do let the record show that the witness is answered in the affirmative. Thank you without objection. Your written statements will be made part of the record. And with that Mr Daniel, you are now recognized for your testimony. Mr Daniel. Yeah, thank you. Chairwoman maloney. Chairwoman maloney ranking member Comer. My name is marty Daniel founder and ceo uh daniel defense. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work with you and to join with americans across the country and attempting to find effective solutions to to combat the unacceptable increase in violent crime in our country, including the evil acts in Uvalde, *** buffalo and Holland park. That prompted this hearing. I’m sharing my views today to help ensure that the voices of law abiding citizens and gun owners are understood by this committee. I am concerned however, That the stated implied purpose of this hearing is to vilify claim and try to ban over 24 million sporting rifles already in circulation that are lawfully possessed and commonly used by millions of Americans to protect their homes and loved ones to safely sports shoot with family and friends and to put food on the table as licensed hunters. This proceeding is focused on *** type of firearm that was involved in fewer than 4% of homicides involving firearms in 2019 I believe in God and my faith, God’s me and my family fundamentally. I also believe that there’s good and evil in our lives and what we saw in Uvalde, *** buffalo and highland park was pure evil. The cruelty of the murders who committed these acts is unfathomable and deeply disturbs me, my family, my employees and millions of americans across this country lately. Many americans myself included have witnessed an erosion of personal responsibility in our country and in our culture, mass shootings were all but unheard of just *** few decades ago. So what changed? Not the firearm? They are substantially the same as those manufactured over 100 years ago. I believe our nation’s response needs to focus not on the type of gun but on the time for persons who are likely to commit mass shootings. In my judgment, the U. S. Secret Service and Department of Homeland Security have shown how we can best spend public resources in reducing these threats. Several several recent studies by these agencies have concluded that mass shootings are preventable when appropriate. Community systems are in place. In my full statement, identify other actions that can be taken without infringing on the constitutional rights of law abiding citizens as the Supreme Court stated in heller, the enshrinement of constitutional rights necessarily take certain policy choices off the table, including those that would diminish the Second amendment rights of law abiding americans such as banning common and popular guns too close. I’m appearing before you on *** voluntary basis because I believe strongly in our constitutional form of government and the role of Congress and addressing the nation’s problems. I have respect for Congress and I hope you will afford me the same respect as both *** citizen and *** manufacturer of *** lawful product built for responsible citizens. Thank you And um thank you Mr Kill Oy you are now recognized for your testimony, chairwoman maloney ranking member comer and distinguished members of the committee. Good morning. My name is chris Kill Oy and I am both fortunate and proud to be the president and chief executive officer of storm burger and company incorporated more simply known as Ruger at its core Ruger like all companies is simply *** collection of people, we’re fathers, mothers, grandparents, friends and neighbors from humble beginnings in Southport Connecticut, very close to where our corporate headquarters is today. We have grown to *** team of nearly 2000 hardworking folks. We have factories in Prescott Arizona made in north Carolina, Newport New Hampshire and earth city Missouri with smaller officers and personnel in various locations around our great country. We come to work every day with the goal of building rugged, reliable firearms that responsible citizens are proud to own and lawfully use our motto Arms makers for responsible citizens is *** testament to our company culture and philosophy dating back nearly 75 years. Among the materials provided to the committee are *** few examples of what we have done these many years to advance our philosophy and demonstrate our core values of respect, integrity, teamwork and innovation. As many companies in America move jobs overseas to improve their bottom line. We build our products in american factories. With few exceptions, our supply chain is nearly all domestic, often supported by small local businesses near our factories. We strive to provide good pay and benefits to our workforce with the hope that employees will become long members of our long term members of our team and we have *** track record to prove it Right now we employ well over 100 dedicated employees with between 30 and 50 years at our company. I recently attended *** retirement party for *** husband and wife team who collectively dedicated 87 years to Ruger more than *** typical lifetime. Not many ceos are as fortunate as I am to work with such great people During the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked exceptionally hard to keep our workforce safe. Our covid task force met nearly every day for more than *** year to manage our response track, constantly shifting guidance and make protocol recommendations. While these protocols had an adverse impact on production and profitability. We opted for the harder right and are proud of that decision With the recent acquisition the Marlin Firearms brand. We now offer over 40 product lines and nearly 800 product innovations. Our management team is small, hard working and effective. We work closely together every day and strive to do the right thing for our employees, shareholders, customers and communities in which we are located. We operate in *** rapidly changing and increasingly complex legal environment. We do our level best to meet our regulatory obligations, cooperate with law enforcement and remain true to our corporate philosophy. As *** company, we support many initiatives designed to promote the safe and responsible use of firearms. Examples include project child safe fix NICS and walk the talk America just to name *** few. These programs and others are detailed in the materials were provided to the committee. Our employees are very active in their respective communities. We have an internal company newsletter, the Ruger Action, which highlights the achievements of our workforce, weddings, graduations, promotions, retirements, *** first buck and so on. I’m always proud and pleased by the community outreach and service of our employees that I read about so frequently. Ruger is *** collection of nearly 2000 hardworking, dedicated individuals sharing the common goal of supplying rugged, reliable American made firearms to responsible citizens who use them lawfully every day. That is who we are. The tension between our constitutional right to own firearms and the harm inflicted by criminals who acquire them is *** complex topic that evokes strong emotions regardless of your position on the issue at Ruger. We are proud americans who embrace the constitution and the blanket of protections it provides, including specifically those guaranteed by the Second Amendment. We firmly believe that it is wrong to deprive citizens of their constitutional right to purchase the lawful firearm they desire because of the criminal acts of wicked people *** firearm. Any firearm can be used for good or for evil. The differences in the intent of the individual possessing it, which we respectfully submit should be the focus of any investigation into the root causes of criminal violence involving firearms. Thank you, I look forward to your questions. Thank you Mr boost you are now recognized for your testimony. Good warming chairwoman maloney, thank you for inviting me today. My testimony is about decisions, the ones I’ve made, the ones the firearms industry has made and ultimately the decisions you must make. Like so many gun owners in America, I grew up with guns and was taught that responsibility and safety are critical components of firearms ownership. In 1995 I made the decision to get into the gun industry For the first several years of my career, the same responsibility I was raised with prevailed there tactical gear was not allowed in the largest trade shows. Companies like Ruger even included their founding motto on all advertising arms maker for responsible citizens. By 2007 change was happening as most companies began combining guns with the political fear and conspiracy machine of the n. r. ***. It worked very well because the same things that drove in our radicalization also drove gun sales Prior to 2008, guns like the AR 15 were *** pariah, but they represented *** new and untapped market and the N. R. ***. And the NssF needed new political symbols and profit. And so companies like smith and Wesson made the decision to get into the Ar 15 business. *** few years later, the M&P 15 as in military and police became the best selling rifle in America. Eventually young male gun customers in places like Parkland florida, highland park Illinois and kenosha Wisconsin all decided to use an M. And P 15 By 2008, Ruger made the decision to remove the responsible citizen motto from most of its public advertising those industry leaders who spoke out against this new trajectory were attacked and marginalized. Everyone was told that any new gun, any new gun buyer or any gun marketing was good so long as that further political aims and sold guns. The trend of dismissing responsibility has only worsened and today the industry condones frightening marketing that openly partners with domestic terror org’s like the boogaloo boys, *** group that hopes for race wars and wears Hawaiian shirts. There is no industry criticism of marketing like this. In fact, the maker of this boogaloo rifle is also one of the nation’s largest gun retailers and they boast of the public support of most of the largest gun companies, including smith and Wesson. It’s not that the industry and the NSSF are shy about aggressively policing the actions of members. In 2018, after the Parkland shooting ed stack, the ceo of Dick’s sporting goods removed ar fifteen’s and tactical gear from his stores stack still sold plenty of other guns. But within days the NSSF board of Governors officially expelled stack and Dicks to let everyone know that anything short of complete devotion would not be tolerated. I was inside the industry as new companies like Daniel Defense built businesses by advertising *** R fifteen’s with slogans encouraging young men to use with the special forces guys use like many companies they also sought and celebrated the inclusion of their *** Ar fifteen’s and first person shooter games and movies. When Daniel defense tweeted *** picture of *** toddler blessed by *** proverbs verse while cradling an *** R 15 on the same week as the Yuval, the shooter was killing kids with one of their rifles. There was no criticism from industry leadership, but there has been *** prestigious reward. The same NssF board of governors that expelled ad stack, elected marty Daniel to *** coveted seat on that board, *** position he still holds today. Mr Cloy is an important voting member of the NssF board, sadly for me, there is no place in the industry for anyone who believes in moderation, *** responsible regulation. If they did exist, they were frightened into submission or forced out in my last month as an industry executive, I snap photos like this. It’s *** tactical advertisement over the entrance of the shot show that weirdly combines Revolutionary War soldiers, *** modern *** ar 15 and the promise of daily gunfights as *** business proposition. On January 6, 2021 less than *** year after I took this photo, these exact components coalesced into *** violent mob just *** few 100 yards from here, despite guns being the center of radicalized domestic terrorist, there is no industry rebuke, Not have to come and take it. Flags on January six, not of armed men invading the michigan capitol, certainly not of Kyle Rittenhouse owning the Libs by shooting and killing people their protest with his smith and Wesson military and police rifle. Any rational person can see the direct lines from this marketing to the troubled young men who kill people in places like buffalo and el paso and your body. Anyone can see the direct lines to our nation’s most dangerous domestic terror. I am here on behalf of responsible gun owners like me who harbor *** deep fear about what this is doing to our country. I am also here to warn you that there is much more of this on the way no one from the industry is going to stop it and it’s going to get much worse now as the elected leaders of our country, you have *** decision to make, what is to be done about this. Thank you and I look forward to your questions. Thank you. Mr Bussey Mr Samson. You are now recognized for your testimony. Miss Sampson, Chairwoman Maloney Ranking member. Many. Okay, Chairwoman maloney, ranking member comer and committee members thank you for holding this hearing because americans of all walks of life can and do agree that gun violence is *** real problem. Gun violence is *** leading cause of death for american Children, which is *** public health issue, not *** private evil hearts problem. Indeed, no prevailing philosophy, theology or world history suggests that evil is unique to the United States. What is unique however, especially in comparison to peer countries is the rate at which gun violence kills our people and that isn’t because we’re more evil, more prone to mental health diagnoses or more violent. First, *** mental health diagnosis makes someone more likely to be *** victim of violence rather than *** perpetrator and in any case research shows that americans are no more prone to mental health issues than people around the world. Second research suggests that America isn’t necessarily more violent than our peers, but because guns are so readily available, we are decidedly deadlier when it comes to gun violence were quite literally off the charts. That’s why countries like Australia. Canada and Germany warn their citizens to take extra precautions when traveling here and that’s also why hundreds of families will get the dreaded news that their loved one has been shot today in the face of such horrific violence, I can understand why people may earnestly believe that the answers lie in the individual private sphere of hearts and morals, but gun violence is *** public health problem and it requires public policy solutions. We have to be honest, we have *** gun violence problem unlike any other industrialized country on earth and guns don’t just come from the sky. Those opposed to regulation claim that people who want to get guns to commit crime could circumvent gun laws by going to the black market as though the black market were given. But it’s not loopholes combined with the lack of accountability and unlawful irresponsible and negligent gun industry practices feed the black market. I’m going to focus on those business practices. Almost all guns start and licensed manufacturers, factories generally, manufacturers sell to distributors who sell to dealers who sell to the public dealers are supposed to screen for gun trafficking and most do the majority of gun dealers won’t sell *** single crime gun in *** given year. But the most recently available data shows that 5% of licensed dealers sell about 90% of crime guns and you might be asking what manufacturers have to do with that lot through trace data from the Bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives or the ***. T. F manufacturers know which dealers and distributors are routinely selling crime guns. Since the majority of gun dealers don’t sell crime guns in *** given year, Then if *** dealer has multiple traces that should at least trigger the manufacturer to investigate and at most compel the manufacturer to cut business ties, but they don’t do that and you don’t have to take my word for it. Several industry insiders have said as much and I’ve detailed in my written testimony despite manufacturers role in supplying the black market, they face little accountability for *** couple of key reasons. First, they’ve lobbied to undercut the ***. T. F. Second. They’ve bought themselves *** shield and protection of lawful commerce in Arms act, also called Placa, *** law that makes it much harder for those harmed by industry misconduct to get justice. So we’ve got paltry enforcement and placa and the gun industry shows carnage by flooding communities with guns, then reaps profit by saying the only thing that will stop the bad guys with guns are good guys with guns. This more guns, less crime frame isn’t just wrong. It’s dangerous. First we know that states with more with looser gun laws have more crime, secondly, framing guns around good and bad guys isn’t neutral because of the racial inequities in our society. Good guy with *** gun is usually code for white, resulting in disparate treatment for black gun owners, for example, police shot and killed Philando castile *** black licensed concealed carry permit holder during *** traffic stop, Whereas police were peacefully able to take an armed white man into custody who had fled after shooting and killing seven people at *** July four parade in Highland Park. Further, some manufacturers use militaristic marketing, suggesting that assault style rifles are the way to protect freedom. But as I’ve detailed in my written testimony, freedom in the firearms context is linked to *** distorted view of the Second Amendment that falsely claims that people have the right to take up arms against the government. This insurrectionist interpretation is particularly seductive to extremists and it threatened this very body on January six. Neither history nor any Supreme Court precedent supports the notion that the Second Amendment is the right to inter insurrection. As Representative Raskin pointed out just last week. It’s absolutely absurd yet we see manufacturers using it to sell guns all the time. The gun industry’s role in fueling our country’s gun violence epidemic can’t be understated. That cannot stand and I look forward to your questions. Thank you. Thank you so much, Miss. Okay far you are now recognized for your testimony. Thank you. Chairwoman maloney, Ranking member comer and members of the House oversight committee, thank you for inviting me to testify today and for giving me the opportunity to defend the rights of millions of american gun owners to own and maintain *** ar 15 for self defense. My name is antonia you fork over and I’m the national director of women’s outreach for gun owners of America. I’m also *** national spokesperson. I’m *** certified firearms instructor and rain safety officer who specializes in working with women, particularly those with traumatic backgrounds. I’m what you would call an accidental activist. My parents were immigrants from Nigeria and I grew up primarily with an anti gun anti second amendment mindset Until I arrived in college in 2009 and was greatly grieved at the epidemic of sexual assaults occurring at universities across the us As *** sexual assault survivor myself, I have since become *** passionate advocate of empowering women and in my years as *** range safety officer and firearms instructor, I have found that my female students tend to give the AR-15 the best review overall this year, gun owners of America put on free events for women that let new female shooters try out an array of firearms from handguns to rifles, two shotguns, out of all the firearms, it was always the ***. R 15 that they raved about, Many of them surprised given the anti R-15 rhetoric pushed by organizations spending millions of dollars trying to deter them from owning one. The AR15 allows women to have *** larger firearm without having to absorb the recoil as much as one does with *** smaller handheld firearm. They are 15, makes it easier for those who have *** physical disadvantage to the attacker to have an upper hand. Having *** rifle allows me the advantage of being able to shoot the attacker from much further away than the standard handgun. The number one reason that women buy firearms is for self defense. I’m *** proud owner of *** daniel defense rifle and is my go to rifle. It is by far lighter than any other rifle I own, it makes it easier for me to hold and yet it still does an incredible job of absorbing the impact After each trigger pool. Women have been known to use rifles and defense and plenty of instances, but the people who have used Armalite rifles range from older men to young women for instance, Stephen Willeford, *** G. O. *** spokesman and senior living in Sutherland Springs texas used an ***. R. 15 to effectively stop *** mass shooter at the church in his town *** few years ago in november 2019, *** woman in her ninth month of pregnancy used her family’s *** ar 15 to stop two armed Attackers in her home after they severely wounded her husband and attempted to grab her 11 year old daughter. The wife grabbed the ar 15 and drove the Attackers away. One of them was found dead from the round. She put in him before they leave from the scene. More recently in Atlanta, *** black army veteran protected his home and family inside using *** ar 15 to fend off two intruders from his home. His wife was hiding inside the home and the man used his rifle in defense of his family home and property Banner these firearms will only make it difficult for women like me to protect our families. Gun bans never stop bad guys from getting firearms. As my written testimony shows the original band of 1994 did nothing to reduce the crime. Consider all the recent shootings in buffalo and you’ve Aldi were aided and abetted by gun restrictions. The buffalo shooter indicated he was comforted that his victims would be limited in their ability to carry firearms by new york’s tough gun laws. And you volley school was *** gun free zone. It’s not surprising that 94% of mass shootings occur in gun free zones. The Second Amendment guarantees *** right that we already have it pre exists the Second Amendment, the right is to self preservation. The Second Amendment’s primary focus is not about hunting. The Second Amendment was put into the constitution as protection of the people against an oppressive government. History has shown countless times that any people group without the means of keeping and bearing arms has remained the oppressed people group. Our history in America has shown oppression, correlated with gun control. Even after black people fought alongside their white counterparts in the military. Many came home to racist governments and institutions that systematically took away firearms from black communities, communities that relied on firearm to deter attacks from the ku Klux Klan and other anti gun organizations, Martin Luther King jr Applied two times for *** concealed carry permit. Both times. The racist police in charge of giving DR King *** permit, refused to give him one in conclusion because of the many benefits of the Ar 15 for women and those with physical disadvantages including the fact that our constitution is clear that no government body has the power to determine which firearm I choose to keep in my possession. The Armalite rifle is *** platform that is an exceptional commonly owned firearm and should be protected as such. Thank you. Thank you so much. I thank all the panelists. I now recognize myself for questions. Today’s hearing is historic. It’s the first time in nearly two decades that the C. E. O. S of leading gun manufacturers have testified before Congress about their business practices. Mr Daniel. The gunmen in Uvalde used an assault weapon from your company To murder 19 Children and two teachers. Your company said that this shooting was and I quote, *** terror horrifying tragedy. End quote and that the victims and families, our quote and our thoughts and they are in our prayers, end quote. You even canceled your company’s appearance at the NRA convention after the shooting and you testified today that there has been *** decline in personal responsibility. Using your words Mr Daniel, do you agree that the murder of these Children and teachers in Uvalde was *** tragedy. And do you feel any personal responsibility for that tragedy? Pure woman maloney. We we are I am deeply disturbed by these horrific acts committed by evil people. I can I can only I cannot even imagine what does innocent Children had to go through And the and the teachers. I cannot imagine hard that the families have to live with for the rest of their lands. Of these acts were horrible and these acts need to be stopped. Thank you. Ok, Reclaiming my time. Mr kill Lloyd. Reference from your company Ruger have also been used in mass shootings, including the deadliest shooting in texas history. I played *** video earlier in which americans impacted by gun violence. Had *** simple question, what is the gun industry doing to stop the violence? We just heard from Mr Daniel that we have to stop the violence. I think we all agree. What is the gun industry doing? and one obvious step is to end the sale of assault weapons? two civilians and Children. Yet neither company before us has been willing to take that step. Congress is moving to take that step. Mr Daniel. How many more american Children need to die before your company will stop selling assault weapons to civilians and young men. Congressman was that directed to myself or mr Daniel. Okay, Mr Daniel? Yes, Yeah. Can you respond? Mr Daniel? Yes. Can you I thought that question was for uh Mr Chloe, Can you repeat the question please? How many more american Children need to die before your company will stop selling assault weapons to civilians and Children. The weapon of choice and most mass murders in our country. Councilman maloney. I believe that these murders, our local problems that have to be solved locally, I believe. Okay, my time is limited. Uh and I have to go to the next question, Mr Kilroy, how about you? Is there any number of shootings in schools and churches and synagogues that would convince you to stop selling weapons of war? Two civilians respectfully, congresswoman, I don’t consider the modern sporting rifles today that my company produces to be weapons of war. And like all americans, I grieve. You know when we read about these tragic incidences, you ask what the industry has done and what our company has done and can do one of the things you reference with the Sutherland Springs situation. In that case the evil person who perpetrated those crimes and committed those murders was allowed to buy *** firearm. That frankly he he should not have been allowed to do my time. And it seems to me that if *** company really cared that its products were being used to kill scores of americans, it would stop selling them. But of course the gun industry won’t do that because they’re making lots and lots of money from these weapons. As shown in the chart behind me over the last 10 years, Daniel defense collected more than half *** billion dollars in revenue selling *** ar 15 style assault weapons, the weapon of choice in too many mass shootings, Ruger also made over 500 million on these weapons and smith and Wesson made more than 600 million. That is the very definition of putting profits over people today. The committee room, there are victims and surviving family members from the highland park in of all day shootings Mr Daniel. You have sent thoughts and prayers to the victims of Vivaldi but you have never accepted responsibility for selling the weapons that killed these innocent Children and you testified earlier that there has been *** *** decline in personal responsibility. I want to give you the opportunity now to show personal responsibility. Will you accept personal responsibility for your company’s role in this tragedy and apologize to the families of Uvalde, the woman maloney. These acts are committed by murderers, the murderers are responsible, reclaiming my client Mr Kill Lloyd. How about you, will you apologize to the victims here today and victims around our country and their families in Sutherland Springs, Boulder and other cities who were harmed by your products congresswoman with all due respect. While as I grieve like all americans at these tragic incidences again, to blame the firearm in the particular firearm and use here that we’re talking about modern sporting rifles blame the firearm is an inanimate object reclaiming my time. So let me get this straight and with all due respect you market weapons of war to civilians and Children. You make millions by selling them. But when someone pulls the trigger, you refuse to accept responsibility. And I would call that *** staggering lack of accountability. I hope the american people are paying attention today. It is clear that gun makers are not going to change unless congress forces them to finally put people over profits. I yield back and recognize the gentleman from Georgia. Mr Heiss. He is now recognized. Thank you. I want to thank each of our witnesses for being here for your testimonies. I also want to thank Chairwoman maloney for holding this hearing so that the american people can see the disturbing trend in this committee of going after both private citizens and the constitutional rights of american citizens. Just the other day, this committee went after those in the energy sector and now going after firearm manufacturers all for political purposes. And just to go with chair woman’s uh comments. I want to know when are you chairwoman Maloney going to apologize to the american citizens for not dealing with the real issue and showing responsibility and accountability. When are we going to have hearings in this committee holding people responsible in cities, municipality, states and right here in our own Congress for being soft on crime. When are we going to have hearings to do away with the ridiculous outrageous policies of defunding the police. And do we really think that that is *** good idea when it comes to dealing with crime. Would anyone in their right mind think that crime would go down when we attack and defund the police when we’re soft on crime and here we have *** southern border that remains open allowing gang members to come in. We’ve not had one hearing about that. We’re not dealt with one thing of of the issue. This is like the old saying that we’re going to blame the manufacturers of forks and spoons for obesity. I guess you’re going to subpoena some of them as well to deal with obesity in this country. It is absolutely absurd that we’re not dealing with the issues. And I want to know when are you going to apologize for the lack of leadership in this committee of dealing with the issues that this country is facing. This committee should have jurisdiction over government oversight and federal issues not going after private citizens and private companies like we’re doing here today. Yes, violent crime is on the increase. That’s *** concern for all of us. But to go after the manufacturers of gun while at the same time remaining soft on crime, defunding the police, supporting those policies and keeping our southern border open for all sorts of criminals is absolutely discussing to me and unthinkable the height of irresponsibility and lack of accountability. My colleagues seem to forget that the american people have *** right to own guns. It’s *** constitutional right to defend themselves. And yet we have perpetual barrage of politicized buzzwords, like they’ve already been used here this morning, like assault weapons and weapons of war to support arbitrary gun grabs not from criminals but from law abiding american citizens. And it’s it’s time that we see some changes. Mr Daniel, I’d like to go to you. There are approximately 8.5 million Americans purchased *** firearm for the first time in 2020. And this is *** trend that’s continued to go up for the last several years. Does your company make or produce any illegal product? Mr Daniel? We make we don’t make any illegal products. We abide by all the laws. We have *** very, very professional compliance department. We focus on always doing the right thing. We focus on uh we tell our employees every month In our monthly meetings that that we need to be 100% compliant, 100% of the time. Um and we and we have we have are known to have *** great *** great system of making sure that we’re uh everything is legal and I’ve been to your your company, I’ve toured it. It’s an amazing place. Why do you believe so many americans are choosing to exercise their constitutional rights for firearms uh and purchase firearms, particularly things like the ***. R. 15 which seems to be under attack this morning congressman. Uh I believe our our data should agrees with what you have stated that there were 88 million plus new gun owners in U 2020. That number has it has continued. Those types of numbers have continued through today. Uh equaling 16 million plus new gun owners are. Internal data shows us, Sir that less than 20% of those new gun owners who have never owned *** gun before uh are Republicans and that people who have who have made *** decision in the past and never own *** gun have changed their minds and are buying guns in unprecedented quantities. And I’m sure that’s primarily to defend themselves because we’re soft on crime. We’re not dealing with the real issues. Miss uh local for let me go to you here. Uh Lawful gun ownership is an integral part of *** citizen’s right to defend themselves. In fact, it’s interesting. And Chairwoman, I have two articles here, but in 1982 the city of kennesaw Georgia passed an ordinance requiring heads of households to maintain working firearms and ammunition. And interestingly kennesaw, which is *** metro Atlanta city. Certainly not *** depopulated rural area. Uh they have incredibly low crime rights, particularly violent crime. In fact, between 2012 and 2020, only two homicides in that city. And I have *** couple of articles I’d like to submit to the record, please, without objection. Thank you Miss. Okafor, in your opinion, is private going ownership. One of if not the most effective means of self defense. Thank you congressman. Yes, absolutely. That is one of the most um impactful ways of deterring any criminal from wanting to go to the places that are most vulnerable and defenseless. Like I said in my testimony, 94% of of mass shootings occur in gun free zones. So *** criminal is gonna go where they can do the most amount of harm and the least amount of time. And so those places that they know that they’re not going to be able to do that. Um, they’re gonna be deterrent. Is that answer data based? That’s absolutely database. Okay, thank you very much. I appreciate the Chair woman’s uh, allowing us to go *** little bit over our time. But with that, I will yield back. Thank the witnesses for being the gentleman’s time has expired and he yields back. Our votes have been called. And after the questioning from the District of Columbia MS Norton who is now recognized, we will recess for the purpose of going to the florida vote. MS Norton, you are now recognized. Thank you. Chairman Chairwoman maloney for this, especially timely hearing. You’re having this hearing at *** time when gun violence is menacing the entire country. You do not open *** paper. Uh, these days, these mornings without reading about gun violence often involving many, many victims. I would like to preface my questions by noting that without statehood, the District of Columbia um, could have its local gun violence prevention laws, including its ban on assault weapons and high capacity magazines overturned by Congress republicans including this. Congress have repeatedly tried to overturn DCs common sense gun violence prevented prevention laws. We have defeated each such effort and I will continue to try to do so. It is clear that there is *** common denominator, two mass shootings that occur over and over and again in America and that is the use of assault weapons. Mr boozy, how is an H and *** R 15 style firearm different From other guns sold by manufacturers and what makes an ***. r. 15 more deadly and dangerous. Then regular handguns, Thank you. Congresswoman. An *** R 15 is chambered in *** very common cartridge. Typically *** 2-3 Or 5.56 in that way it is similar to many other commonly used guns, But the ar 15 is based on the military version of the rifle and it’s specifically designed to be an offensive weapon of war for troops in battle to charge into places like buildings and battlefields to take as many lives as possible as fast as they possibly can. That’s what the design of the rifle is for. It’s I think an analogy may be in order And *** ar 15 if think about it in terms of cars, all, most cars and trucks have four wheels and *** steering wheel and engines and all those things and most rifles have *** trigger in *** barrel and *** stock and all of those things. But in this case the Ar 15 would be much like *** Formula One race car. It’s like other cars, but it’s specifically designed to do things very fast, very easy at corners, It gets places very fast. So I think that’s the analogy that should be used. It’s *** very telling analogy. I must say all all of these differences mean the damage to the human body from one bullet fired from an assault rifle is particularly gruesome. I’ll just give one example. *** trauma surgeon at the University of texas said that *** bullet From an ***. R 15 has so much energy that it can disintegrate 3″ of leg bone and it would quote, just turn to dust. Uh, knowing this, It is, it’s incomprehensible that they are 15 style rifles are so easy to purchase. Mr Daniel, Your company brags that it offers *** buy now pay later financing and consumer uh, can buy this product in quote seconds. Um, Mr Daniel did the of all the shooter use this financing program to purchase his weapon? Congresswoman. This shooting is still under investigation and we shouldn’t comment uh, on this, on this investigation. Um, MS Sampson, I want to quickly turn to you, how could *** new assault weapons ban reduce the number of horrific mass shootings in our country. Put on your microphone mic please, is it on now? Thank you for the question renewing the assault weapons ban would prevent deadly mass shootings because we know that assault weapons are the weapon of choice for mass shooters because, as was mentioned earlier, not only are they able to shoot from *** further distance, but they also allow *** lone shooter to inflict much more harm on *** greater number of people in *** shorter amount of time. So we renew the assault weapons ban. That would take away *** key piece of what allows mass shooters to kill more people in less time without having to stop to reload. The gentle lady’s time has expired. Votes have been called in to accommodate members voting. The committee will take *** short recess and reconvene approximately five minutes at the close of the last vote. In this series, the committee stands in recess.
Video above: House hearing on gun manufacturersGun makers have taken in more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns over the past decade, at times marketing them as a way for young men to prove their masculinity, even as the number of mass shootings increases, according to a House investigation unveiled Wednesday.The weapons have been used in massacres that have horrified the nation, including one that left 10 people dead at a grocery store in Buffalo and another where 19 children and two teachers were shot to death in Uvalde, Texas.The Committee on Oversight and Reform said some ads mimic popular first-person shooter video games or tout the weapons’ military pedigree while others claim the guns will put buyers “at the top of the testosterone food chain.” Those sales tactics are “deeply disturbing, exploitative and reckless,” said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. “In short, the gun industry is profiting off the blood of innocent Americans.”Gun makers, on the other hand, said AR-15-style rifles are responsible for a small portion of gun homicides and the blame must go to the shooters rather than their weapons.”What we saw in Uvalde, Buffalo and Highland Park was pure evil,” said Marty Daniels, the CEO of Daniel Defense, the company that made the weapon used in Texas. “The cruelty of the murderers who committed these acts is unfathomable and deeply disturbs me, my family, my employees and millions of Americans across this country.”However, he added later in testimony before the committee, “I believe that these murders are local problems that have to be solved locally.”Gun violence overall spiked in 2020, but recent statistics indicate it is coming down this year in many cities.The House panel’s investigation focused on five major gunmakers, and found they took in a combined total of more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 10 years from the sale of AR-15-style firearms. The revenue numbers were released for the committee hearing focused on the marketing and sales of the firearms that have gained notoriety because of their use in the mass killings.Two of the companies tripled their revenue from the weapons over the past three years, the committee found. Daniel Defense, based near Savannah, Georgia, raised that revenue from $40 million in 2019 to more than $120 million last year. The company sells weapons like the one used in Uvalde on credit and advertises that financing can be approved “in seconds.”Salvador Ramos, accused in the Uvalde shootings, began purchasing firearms and ammunition when he turned 18, eventually spending more than $5,000 on two AR-style rifles, ammunition and other gear in the days before the massacre, authorities have said.Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s gross revenue, meanwhile, has nearly tripled from $39 million to $103 million since 2019, and Smith and Wesson reported that its revenues from all long guns doubled from 2019 to 2021. Gun manufacturers, the committee said, don’t gather or analyze safety data related to firearms. The increases are against a backdrop of a record-setting overall increase in gun sales that began around the start of the coronavirus pandemic. About 8.5 million people bought guns for the first time in 2020, said Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia. But he said, “American people have a right to own guns.”The hearing comes amid a push by House Democrats to get legislation passed that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons. It’s the lawmakers’ most far-reaching response yet to this summer’s mass shootings.While AR-15-style firearms aren’t necessarily the main drivers of U.S. gun violence overall, their design allows shooters to harm more people from a greater distance, said Kelly Sampson, senior counsel and director of racial justice with Brady, a group pressing to end gun violence that generally supports restrictions.”If we renew the assault weapons ban, that would take away a key piece of what allows mass shooters to kill more people in less time without having to stop to reload,” she said.There have been 15 mass killings this year, according to the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killing Database. According to that research, those incidents have left 86 dead and 63 injured. Guns were used in all of them, and in at least seven instances they were AR-15-style weapons. Mass killings are defined as incidents where at least four people are killed. But the AR-15 and similar weapons are also popular with people who buy guns for self-defense, said Antonia Okafor, the national director of outreach for the group Gun Owners of America. Such rifles allow people, including women, to shoot a larger gun without having to absorb as much recoil.”The AR-15 makes it easier for those who have a physical disadvantage to the attacker to have an upper hand,” she said. Wednesday’s hearing marked the first time in 20 years that CEOs of leading gun manufacturers testified about their businesses, Maloney said.
Video above: House hearing on gun manufacturers
Gun makers have taken in more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns over the past decade, at times marketing them as a way for young men to prove their masculinity, even as the number of mass shootings increases, according to a House investigation unveiled Wednesday.
The weapons have been used in massacres that have horrified the nation, including one that left 10 people dead at a grocery store in Buffalo and another where 19 children and two teachers were shot to death in Uvalde, Texas.
The Committee on Oversight and Reform said some ads mimic popular first-person shooter video games or tout the weapons’ military pedigree while others claim the guns will put buyers “at the top of the testosterone food chain.”
Those sales tactics are “deeply disturbing, exploitative and reckless,” said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. “In short, the gun industry is profiting off the blood of innocent Americans.”
Gun makers, on the other hand, said AR-15-style rifles are responsible for a small portion of gun homicides and the blame must go to the shooters rather than their weapons.
“What we saw in Uvalde, Buffalo and Highland Park was pure evil,” said Marty Daniels, the CEO of Daniel Defense, the company that made the weapon used in Texas. “The cruelty of the murderers who committed these acts is unfathomable and deeply disturbs me, my family, my employees and millions of Americans across this country.”
However, he added later in testimony before the committee, “I believe that these murders are local problems that have to be solved locally.”
Gun violence overall spiked in 2020, but recent statistics indicate it is coming down this year in many cities.
The House panel’s investigation focused on five major gunmakers, and found they took in a combined total of more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 10 years from the sale of AR-15-style firearms. The revenue numbers were released for the committee hearing focused on the marketing and sales of the firearms that have gained notoriety because of their use in the mass killings.
Two of the companies tripled their revenue from the weapons over the past three years, the committee found. Daniel Defense, based near Savannah, Georgia, raised that revenue from $40 million in 2019 to more than $120 million last year. The company sells weapons like the one used in Uvalde on credit and advertises that financing can be approved “in seconds.”
Salvador Ramos, accused in the Uvalde shootings, began purchasing firearms and ammunition when he turned 18, eventually spending more than $5,000 on two AR-style rifles, ammunition and other gear in the days before the massacre, authorities have said.
Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s gross revenue, meanwhile, has nearly tripled from $39 million to $103 million since 2019, and Smith and Wesson reported that its revenues from all long guns doubled from 2019 to 2021. Gun manufacturers, the committee said, don’t gather or analyze safety data related to firearms.
The increases are against a backdrop of a record-setting overall increase in gun sales that began around the start of the coronavirus pandemic. About 8.5 million people bought guns for the first time in 2020, said Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia. But he said, “American people have a right to own guns.”
The hearing comes amid a push by House Democrats to get legislation passed that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons. It’s the lawmakers’ most far-reaching response yet to this summer’s mass shootings.
While AR-15-style firearms aren’t necessarily the main drivers of U.S. gun violence overall, their design allows shooters to harm more people from a greater distance, said Kelly Sampson, senior counsel and director of racial justice with Brady, a group pressing to end gun violence that generally supports restrictions.
“If we renew the assault weapons ban, that would take away a key piece of what allows mass shooters to kill more people in less time without having to stop to reload,” she said.
There have been 15 mass killings this year, according to the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killing Database. According to that research, those incidents have left 86 dead and 63 injured. Guns were used in all of them, and in at least seven instances they were AR-15-style weapons. Mass killings are defined as incidents where at least four people are killed.
But the AR-15 and similar weapons are also popular with people who buy guns for self-defense, said Antonia Okafor, the national director of outreach for the group Gun Owners of America. Such rifles allow people, including women, to shoot a larger gun without having to absorb as much recoil.
“The AR-15 makes it easier for those who have a physical disadvantage to the attacker to have an upper hand,” she said.
Wednesday’s hearing marked the first time in 20 years that CEOs of leading gun manufacturers testified about their businesses, Maloney said.