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Amid the growing number of shootings in the United States, it was found that arms manufacturers have grossed more than $ 1 billion in the past decade from selling AR-15-style weapons.
At the time, gun manufacturers were marketing guns to lure young men and lure them with a chance to prove their masculinity.
Despite the alarming number of mass shootings, a House investigation Wednesday found arms manufacturers are continuing their marketing.
The same weapons that incite men to prove their manhood have been responsible for a series of massacres that rocked the nation, including recent events that resulted in 10 deaths in Buffalo and 21 deaths in Uvalde, Texas.
What the committee had to say
The Oversight and Reform Committee said the ads used mimicked first-person shooter video games or endorsed the military legacy of weapons.
Others claimed the weapons would put potential buyers “at the top of the testosterone food chain.”
Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York described the sellout tactic as “deeply disturbing, exploitative and callous.”
“In short, the gun industry is profiting off the blood of innocent Americans,” she added.
Liability of firearms manufacturers
While mass shootings have become an epidemic in the country, gunmakers point out that AR-15 type rifles account for a small portion of firearm homicides.
Instead, they say the blame lies with the shooters, not the guns.
Marty Daniels is the CEO of Daniel Defense, the company that made the weapon that slaughtered 19 children and 2 teachers in Texas.
“What we saw in Uvalde, Buffalo and Highland Park was pure evil,” said Daniels.
“The cruelty of the murders who committed these acts is unfathomable and deeply disturbs me, my family, my employees, and millions Americans across this country.”
“I believe that these murders are local problems that have to be solved locally,” he added during his testimony before the committee.
Statistics and investigation
Statistics show that gun violence has skyrocketed in 2020, but also indicates that it is decreasing in many cities this year.
The House of Representatives panel investigation focused on major firearms manufacturers and found they had combined sales of AR-15 type firearms worth $1 billion over the past decade.
The figures were released for the committee’s hearing, which focused on the marketing and sale of firearms, which have drawn national attention for their use in the killings.
Companies, sales and additional statistics
The committee found that two companies have tripled their firearms revenue over the past three years.
Daniel Defense increased its revenue from $40 million in 2019 to more than $120 million last year.
The company was responsible for the gun used in the Uvalde shooting and is known to sell guns on credit and solicit financing which can be approved “in seconds”.
Salvador Ramos, Uvalde’s shooter, spent more than $5,000 on two AR rifles, ammo and other gear days before his horrific actions.
Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s gross revenue has also tripled since 2019, from $39 million to $103 million.
Smith and Wesson reported that revenues for all long guns doubled between 2019 and 2021.
Meanwhile, the commission stressed that arms manufacturers do not analyze firearms safety data.
The higher sales are the result of a record increase in total arms sales that began at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Republican Representative Jody Hice of Georgia revealed that around 8.5 million people bought weapons for the first time in 2020.
“American people have a right to own guns,” Hice said.
After learning about the marketing practices and accountability of the firearms industry, concerns arose on Thursday and prompted the committee to prepare further legislative proposals.
House lawmakers have enacted a measure ordering the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the industry’s advertising and marketing practices.
The proposals will encounter similar hurdles as they pass through Congress, as Republican opposition will likely prevent it from moving into the Senate.
Meanwhile, gun safety advocates are urging lawmakers to step up their efforts after arms manufacturers redoubled their lack of accountability as they testified before the House Oversight and Reform Commission.