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House panel launches investigation into gun manufacturers

Associated Press
People gather at a memorial site to pay their respects for the victims killed in this week’s elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, Thursday, May 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

The Democratic chairwoman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee has launched an investigation into gun manufacturers, after two mass shootings left 31 people dead in less than two weeks.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) announced Friday that she has contacted five of the top gunmakers and is seeking information about the manufacturing, sale and marketing of weapons that have been used in mass shootings.

“Our country faces an epidemic of gun violence, which is now the leading cause of death for children in the United States,” Maloney wrote in the letters that went out to the CEOs of Bushmaster Firearms Industries, Daniel Defense, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Company.

“I am deeply concerned that gun manufacturers continue to profit from the sale of weapons of war,” she said.

The Hill has reached out to all five of the companies.

Ten people were killed in a mass shooting at a supermarket in a predominantly Black neighborhood in Buffalo, N.Y., on May 14.

This week, 19 elementary school children and two of their teachers were gunned down by a lone shooter.

Maloney said her committee will investigate the sale and marketing of the company’s firearms with the goal of informing legislative efforts on “common-sense gun safety reform to save Americans’ lives.”

The committee has asked the companies to acknowledge the request by Thursday and provide additional documents by June 6.

The gunman in Texas and the suspected gunman in New York were armed with AR-15–style semiautomatic weapons that they legally purchased under Texas and New York laws.

“Despite decades of rising gun deaths and mass murders using assault weapons, your company has continued to market assault weapons to civilians, reaping a profit from the deaths of innocent Americans,” Maloney wrote in her letters to the gunmakers.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is currently meeting in Houston, just hours away from where the elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, took place.

After the Texas shooting, the NRA released a statement expressing the association’s “deepest sympathies with the families and victims involved in this horrific and evil crime.”

“Although an investigation is underway and facts are still emerging, we recognize this was the act of a lone, deranged criminal,” the statement reads. “As we gather in Houston, we will reflect on these events, pray for the victims, recognize our patriotic members and pledge to redouble our commitment to making our schools secure.”

The NRA didn’t immediately respond to The Hill’s request for comment specifically on Maloney’s probe.

Tags Buffalo shooting Carolyn Maloney Carolyn Maloney Gun control gun laws House Oversight Committee Texas school shooting Uvalde school shooting

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