Everytown Has Called for Firearms Industry Accountability, Including Filing New Complaint Urging the FTC to Investigate Daniel Defense’s Marketing
Experts Available to Speak on Gun Industry’s Role in Gun Violence Epidemic
WASHINGTON — Everytown for Gun Safety and its grassroots networks, Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, released the following statements ahead of a hearing today in the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform examining the practices and profits of gun manufacturers. The hearing is set to begin at 10:00 am and is expected to feature testimony from the CEOs of Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. and Daniel Defense, LLC. A livestream is available here.
“After decades of pumping out guns with a shocking disregard for public safety, the CEOs of firearm companies are finally being brought before Congress to answer for putting profits over people,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud the House Oversight Committee for going straight to the source of America’s gun violence crisis, and we urge the rest of Washington to start demanding more of an industry that has operated as if it was above the law for far too long.”
“The firearms industry pushes extreme gun policies, markets its products with militaristic imagery, and then profits while violence ensues — and today they’ll have to answer for that,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “The gun industry in America has repeatedly chosen profits over people’s lives, and has been unwilling to take even basic safety precautions to keep their products out of the wrong hands.”
In June, Nick Suplina, Everytown’s Senior Vice President for Law & Policy, testified before the House Oversight Committee on the role the gun industry has played in fueling our gun violence epidemic. His remarks are available here.
Daniel Defense made the weapon used to kill 21 people in Uvalde, Texas, in May. This month, Everytown Law called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Daniel Defense’s marketing of its assault weapons, particularly to young men. The complaint presents evidence that Daniel Defense is using “violent and militaristic imagery, unfairly implying that civilians can use their weapons for offensive combat-like missions, and appealing particularly to the thrill-seeking and impulsive tendencies of susceptible teens and young men who are attracted to violence and military fantasies.”
Last year, an Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund report revealed that Daniel Defense received over $3 million from the Paycheck Protection Program, as part of the over $150 million in taxpayer funding firearms-related businesses and organizations received from the program in 2020 — the same year the firearms industry experienced dramatic growth in sales.
Additionally, last week, members of Mayors Against Illegal Guns held a groundbreaking mayoral summit on gun violence prevention and holding the gun industry accountable, and released new data on the manufacturers of guns used in crimes in their cities and called on their fellow mayors across the country to do the same. The summit was hosted by Mayors Against Illegal Guns Co-Chair New York Mayor Eric Adams, in partnership with the African-American Mayors Association.
In 2020 and 2021, Everytown, Brady, and Fred Guttenberg issued and reissued calls for the FTC to investigate Smith & Wesson’s advertising and promotion of its M&P line of assault weapons, citing substantial evidence the company uses unfair and deceptive practices to market the rifles to young, male consumers — a demographic that includes a disproportionate number of the shooters in the 10 most destructive mass shootings of the past decade. The 21-year-old man accused of perpetrating the July 4, 2022, mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, is alleged to have done so with a Smith & Wesson M&P rifle. Other young mass shooters who have used Smith & Wesson M&P rifles include the Parkland shooter, and the Aurora, Colorado, shooter. In addition, Kyle Rittenhouse used a Smith & Wesson M&P rifle to kill two people and injure a third during a protest for racial justice in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
The firearms industry has a history of opposing common-sense gun safety policies, from opposing background checks on all gun sales, to opposing measures to stop the proliferation of untraceable homemade ghost guns, one of the fastest-growing threats to the country, to supporting legislation to make it easier for anyone, including violent criminals, to carry hidden and loaded guns in public.
To speak with an expert on the gun industry and the role it plays in the gun violence epidemic, please do not hesitate to reach out.