Chairwoman Maloney Applauds House Passage of Assault Weapons Ban
Washington, D.C. (July 29, 2022)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, issued the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021:
“This week, two of the country’s leading assault weapon manufacturers testified before my Committee. Their testimony made clear that the gun industry intends to continue raking in billions by flooding our communities with assault weapons, while refusing to hold itself accountable for the deaths of innocent Americans. My Committee heard from parents who lost children in Uvalde, a mother whose son lost his father in Buffalo, and many others who shared their stories and begged Congress to act. Today, House Democrats have answered their calls and taken the commonsense step to keep these dangerous weapons of war out of our communities.
“By passing the Assault Weapons Ban of 2021, House Democrats are saving lives and holding the manufacturers fueling this public health crisis accountable. My Committee’s investigation revealed that AR-15 manufacturers have collected more than $1 billion from these deadly products as our communities suffer unimaginable tragedies. It is long past time for reform.
“As the gun violence death toll continues to rise in America, it is clear that assault weapons have become the tool of mass shooters. I hope the Senate will recognize the urgent nature of this legislation and pass this life-saving measure into law.”
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 sale 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, Texas and Buffalo, New York, as well as gun safety experts and advocates, and local elected officials.
On July 27, 2022, the Committee held a hearing featuring testimony from the CEOs of Sturm, Ruger & Company and Daniel Defense, where both executives 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. At the start of the hearing, Chairwoman Maloney announced her intent to issue a document subpoena to Smith & Wesson after the company’s CEO refused to testify about the company’s sales and marketing of AR-15-style weapons.
Ahead of the hearing, the Committee released alarming new findings from the Committee’s investigation into five major gun manufacturers’ sales and marketing of AR-15-style assault rifles. The Committee found that gun manufacturers collected more than $1 billion from the sale 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.