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Rep. Carolyn Maloney invites gunmaker CEOs to testify at hearing following mass shootings

The House Oversight Committee chair said the hearing will focus on “the sale and marketing of assault weapons and the broad civil immunity that has been unfairly granted to manufacturers.”
Image: Carolyn Maloney
Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., speaks Dec. 10 at a news conference at which members of Congress unveiled findings of an investigation into the pharmaceutical industry.Michael Brochstein / Sipa USA via AP file

WASHINGTON — House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney has invited the CEOs of three major gun manufacturers to testify before the panel at a hearing July 20.

In letters to the executives of Daniel Defense, Smith & Wesson Brands and Sturm, Ruger & Co., Maloney, D-N.Y., said the hearing will focus on the firearm industry's role in the gun violence epidemic. She said that includes "the sale and marketing of assault weapons and the broad civil immunity that has been unfairly granted to manufacturers."

Maloney wrote that the CEOs’ products "have been used for decades to carry out homicides and even mass murders," including the Fourth of July shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, that left seven people dead and dozens more injured.

After the recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, her committee launched an investigation into firearms manufacturers and sought information from the companies about their selling and marketing of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles and similar firearms, she wrote.

The information the gunmakers provided to the panel "has heightened the committee’s concern that your company is continuing to profit from the sale and marketing of weapons of war to civilians despite the harm these weapons cause, is failing to track instances or patterns where your products are used in crimes, and is failing to take other reasonable precautions to limit injuries and deaths caused by your firearms," she wrote.

She also said the gunman in Uvalde used an "assault" rifle manufactured by Daniel Defense.

“As the chief executive officer of a major firearms manufacturer that sells millions of assault weapons, your testimony is crucial to understand why your company continues to sell and market these weapons to civilians, what steps your company plans to take to protect the public, and what additional reforms are needed to prevent further deaths from your products,” the letters said. 

Maloney asked that the CEOs confirm that they will participate in the hearing by Friday.