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House panel requests testimony from top gun manufacturers

BY ZACH SCHONFELD – The Hill

The House Oversight and Reform Committee on Wednesday, July 6, requested testimony from executives at three major gun manufacturers at a hearing later this month as part of the panel’s investigation into the industry.

Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) sent letters to Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel, Smith & Wesson Brands CEO Mark Smith and Sturm, Ruger & Company CEO Christopher Killoy requesting their testimony on July 20 for a hearing examining the role of the firearms industry in gun violence.

“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,” Maloney wrote in the letters, which the committee released publicly on Thursday.

The Hill has requested comments from the three companies.

Maloney launched the committee investigation on May 26 following high-profile mass shootings in Buffalo, N.Y., and Uvalde, Texas.

The Uvalde gunman, who killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School, reportedly used a Daniel Defense semi-automatic rifle. Police said the suspect in the Fourth of July mass shooting in Highland Park, Ill., that left seven dead used a Smith & Wesson Brands semi-automatic rifle.

Maloney in May sent letters to the three CEOs and other gun manufacturers requesting information on their sale and marketing of AR-15-style rifles, including profit and marketing information.

In the new round of letters sent Wednesday, first reported by The Washington Post, Maloney told the three executives that the information they provided “heightened the committee’s concern” that the manufacturers were continuing to profit from the sale and marketing of “weapons of war” despite their harm.

In the letter to Ruger’s CEO, Maloney said the manufacturer had declined to provide some of the requested information.

“Your company produced some of the information and documents responsive to our inquiry, but you have refused to produce information specifically regarding semiautomatic rifles based on the AR platform, despite admitting that you keep such records,” she wrote.

The new hearing follows one held by the committee last month that featured testimony from witnesses to recent gun violence as well as the families of victims.

The hearing included video testimony from 11-year-old Miah Cerrillo, a fourth grader who told the committee she survived the Uvalde massacre by smearing her classmate’s blood on her face and playing dead. A second panel of gun violence experts called by both parties later testified.

During the committee’s investigation, Congress passed a bipartisan gun safety package that included incentives for states to implement red flag laws, a closure of the so-called boyfriend loophole and funding for mental health programs.

This article originally appeared on The Hill.

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