The heads of gun companies call shooting “local problems” and weapons “inanimate” objects.

A firearm is displayed at Bob’s Little Sport in Glassboro, New Jersey, on May 26, 2022.

Typhoon Coshkun | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Major arms manufacturers have made more than $1 billion selling military-style weapons over the past decade, according to an investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

memo from the panel describes manufacturers’ revenues and marketing strategies for assault weapons, focusing on brands of weapons that have been used in recent mass shootings. Released early Wednesday hearing on the role of the firearms industry in widespread gun violence in the United States.

At the hearing, gun manufacturer executives called the shooting “local issues” and defended firearms as “inanimate” objects.

Sturm Ruger CEO Christopher Killoy and Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel testified at Wednesday’s hearing. Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith was invited but did not attend.

In court, commission chairman R. Carolyn B. Maloney, DN.Y., said the commission would send subpoenas to Smith & Wesson and other manufacturers.

Assault weapons revenue more than doubled for brands such as Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger & Co.. and Daniel Defense between 2019 and 2021, according to House of Representatives findings.

The committee also presented these alleged assault weapon revenues from 2012, when a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut:

  • Smith & Wesson: $695 million
  • Sturm, Ruger & Co.: $514 million
  • Daniel Defense: $528 million
  • SIG Sauer: declined to say
  • Bushmaster: $2.9 million (2021 only)

Weapons manufacturers’ products used in recent mass shootings were also noted. In May, for example, at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, 19 children and two teachers were killed with Daniel Defense guns.

The brands themselves do not track deaths, injuries, or crimes related to their weapons. Sieg Sauer told the committee that he “did not have the means” to track the deaths. Ruger has stated that it learns of the incidents through its “customer service department”, the media, or from occasional lawsuits.

“These killings are local issues that need to be addressed locally,” Daniel told committee members on Wednesday.

When Maloney asked if Killoy, CEO of Sturm Ruger, would apologize to the victims of the shooting, he defended the company’s product as “an inanimate object.”

Just got a hearing after the Governor of California. Gavin Newsom recently signed a law allowing citizens victims of violence with firearms to sue the manufacturers.

The committee also focused on marketing tactics, including Smith & Wesson ads spoofing first-person shooter video games and Sig Sauer weapons marketed as “apex predator”.

House Democrats push for vote assault weapon ban later this week. If passed, the bill is unlikely to pass through the Senate.

Smith & Wesson, Sig Sauer and Sturm Ruger did not immediately respond to a request for comment.