Chairwoman Maloney Subpoenas Smith & Wesson for Documents on the Use of Its Assault Weapons in Mass Shootings
Washington, D.C. (Aug. 2, 2022)— Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark P. Smith, informing him that the Committee has issued a subpoena for documents related to the company’s manufacture and sale of AR-15-style assault weapons, including the company’s internal communications around recent mass shootings. The subpoena follows Mr. Smith’s refusal to testify at the Committee’s recent hearing and his company’s failure to produce key information voluntarily.
“Your company collects hundreds of millions of dollars selling assault weapons that are used in mass shootings, including the horrific murder of seven Americans and the wounding of dozens more during a Fourth of July parade in Highland Park, Illinois,” the Chairwoman wrote. “This subpoena was made necessary by your unwillingness to voluntarily comply with the Committee’s investigation, including your refusal to testify about your company’s troubling business practices at the Committee’s July 27, 2022, hearing and your refusal to voluntarily produce key information about your company’s sale of assault weapons to civilians.”
On May 26, 2022, in the wake of the mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, the Committee opened an inquiry into five leading manufacturers of AR-15-style rifles, including Smith & Wesson. The Committee sought documents and information related to the manufacture, marketing, and sale of AR-15-style firearms.
On June 8, 2022, the Committee held a hearing to examine the causes and impacts of gun violence and evaluate measures to prevent further loss of life from firearms. At the culmination of the hearing, Chairwoman Maloney announced that the Committee planned to hold a second hearing with gun manufacturers, and later invited Mr. Smith to appear alongside two other chief executives from the gun industry.
Mr. Smith initially accepted the invitation to appear, but abruptly withdrew from the hearing only five days before it was set to occur—despite the Committee’s good-faith efforts to secure his voluntary participation.
Smith & Wesson has also been deficient in its response to the Committee’s May 26, 2022, request for information and documents, including a request for information about sales of its AR-15-style firearms.
Ahead of the July 27, 2022, hearing, the Committee released initial findings from its investigation into gun manufacturers, concluding that five leading gun manufacturers, including Smith & Wesson, amassed over $1 billion in revenue over the past decade selling AR-15-style rifles and used dangerous marketing tactics to target these weapons at young people. The Committee also found that Smith & Wesson makes no effort to track or monitor injury, deaths, and crimes associated with its AR-15-style rifles.
In light of Smith & Wesson’s refusal to comply voluntarily with the Committee’s inquiry, Chairwoman Maloney issued a subpoena to obtain key information necessary to the investigation, including the revenue and profits Smith & Wesson is making from AR-15-style rifles, internal analysis and assessments related to the safety of its products and marketing practices, and internal communications involving the CEO and other top executives discussing recent mass shootings carried out with the company’s weapons.
Click here to read the letter to Smith & Wesson.