American lawmakers demand explanations from gun manufacturers
American lawmakers have said they want to deepen their investigation into firearms sale practices and summon gun manufacturers before the US Congress after a series of deadly mass shootings rocked the nation.
Last month, days after the Uvalde mass shooting, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform launched an investigation into five leading manufacturers of the semi-automatic weapons used in both of the recent shootings. The first findings of the probe were announced during a Committee hearing on Wednesday.
“We need transparency into how guns are reaching the hands of criminals, which is why this Committee has been working to identify the gun dealers that are selling the most guns used in crimes, including across state lines,” Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney said.
On May 27, the Committee requested Daniel Defense, Sig Sauer, Smith & Wesson Brands, and Sturm, Ruger & Company to provide data on the production, marketing and sales of “firearms used in mass shootings.”
On Wednesday, Maloney said the received information was “very troubling.” She added: “I also intend to hold a second hearing to hear directly from the gun industry, so they can explain to the American people why they continue to sell the weapons of choice for mass murderers.”
The congresswoman said the sale of AR-15-style assault rifles was particularly concerning since the weapon was used by a teenager who opened fire inside a school in Uvalde, Texas last month, killing 19 students and two teachers. The tragedy occurred ten days after a man with reportedly racist and anti-Semitic views murdered 10 people inside a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.
On Wednesday, the Democrat-controlled House passed the Protecting Our Kids Act, a bill that would raise the legal age to buy certain semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21 years old, among other measures of additional gun control.
The bill, however, is not expected to pass the Senate due to opposition from Republicans who argue the bill would target law-abiding gun owners.
“Knee-jerk reactions to impose gun control policies that seek to curtail our constitutional right to bear arms are not the answer,” Congressman James Comer said during the hearing on Wednesday.