Companies under investigation, according to letters provided to The Washington Post, include Daniel Defense, the maker of the DDM4 rifle that the shooter used to kill 19 children and two adults at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, and Bushmaster, the maker of the Bushmaster XM. -15 semi-automatic rifle that the alleged Buffalo shooter said he illegally modified and then used to kill 10 people at a Tops Friendly Markets store.
In a letter to Marty Daniel, the CEO of Daniel Defense, Maloney cites an online ad the company posted May 16 of a toddler holding an AR-15-style rifle. The photo featured “a caption quoting a biblical proverb for ‘Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not stray from it,'” Maloney writes. Daniel Defense shielded his tweets from public view shortly after the shooting.
“Your company’s own weapons of war have repeatedly been used in horrific and deadly attacks,” Maloney states in the letter. “In addition to this week’s horrific shooting in Texas, four Daniel Defense AR-15 type rifles were found in the shooter’s Las Vegas hotel room in 2017. This shooter used more than a dozen assault weapons to massacre 60 people and injure more than 400. One of these weapons from Daniel Defense was found with a shock butt and a 100-round magazine.
The shooter who killed 26 people in the 2012 attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School was also executed with a Bushmaster XM-15.
Democrats control the House and have already passed two gun bills that would expand background checks and tighten regulations on gun sales, but hold only a slim advantage in the Senate, which hampered their ability to enact laws. They renewed their push this week for new gun restrictions, which most Republicans on Capitol Hill oppose.
The House Oversight Committee is also investigating Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., and Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. Maloney requested gross revenue and profit from each company’s semi-automatic rifle sales based on AR-15 style rifles, annual expenditures on advertising and marketing of these rifles, annual federal and state lobbying expenditures, and funding provided to the National Rifle Association by June 2.
Investigators also asked whether each company monitored or tracked deaths or injuries caused by semi-automatic rifles and marketing and public relations materials related to these types of firearms.
Maloney writes that the Bushmaster XM-15 was “easily modified by the shooter to accept high capacity magazines”, and asks whether each company is tracking crimes committed with a modified firearm or has taken steps to prevent its weapons lamp are illegally modified after purchase.
President Biden urged Congress to tackle the ‘carnage’ of gun violence on Tuesday, but two House-passed proposals to overhaul gun laws have stalled as Republicans have strongly opposed the plans existing gun control laws.
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (DN.Y.) signaled Wednesday that his caucus is willing to try to work with Republicans on modest new gun restrictions to get out of the dead end. Republicans, however, continued to defend private gun ownership and instead called for addressing mental health treatment and school safety issues in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde.