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AR-15 style guns sold as an indicator of manhood as shootings rise

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“The AR-15 helps it be easier for people who have a physical disadvantage to the attacker with an upper hand.”

AR-15-style rifles are on display at Burbank Ammo & Guns in Burbank, Calif., on June 23. Gun manufacturers have made a lot more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns in the last decade, and for just two companies those revenues have tripled during the last 3 years, a residence investigation unveiled July 27 found. Jae C. Hong / AP Photo The Associated Press

By LINDSAY WHITEHURST, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) Gun makers took in a lot more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns in the last decade, sometimes marketing them for teenagers to prove their masculinity, even while the amount of mass shootings increases, in accordance with aHouse investigationunveiled Wednesday.

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The weapons have already been found in massacres which have horrified the country, including one which left 10 people dead at a supermarket in Buffalo and another where 19 children and two teachers were shot to death in Uvalde, Texas.

The Committee on Oversight and Reform said some ads mimic popular first-person shooter video gaming or tout the weapons military pedigree while some claim the guns will put buyers near the top of the testosterone food chain.

Those sales tactics are deeply disturbing, exploitative and reckless, said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of NY. In a nutshell, the gun industry is profiting off the blood of innocent Americans.

Gun makers, however, said AR-15-style rifles have the effect of a small part of gun homicides and the blame must visit the shooters instead of their weapons.

What we saw in Uvalde, Buffalo and Highland Park was pure evil, said Marty Daniels, the CEO of Daniel Defense, the business that made the weapon found in Texas. The cruelty of the murderers who committed these acts is unfathomable and deeply disturbs me, my children, my employees and an incredible number of Americans across this country.

However, he added later in testimony prior to the committee, I really believe these murders are local issues that need to be solved locally.

Gun violence overallspiked in 2020, but recent statistics indicate it really is coming down this season in lots of cities.

THE HOME panels investigation centered on five major gunmakers, and found they took in a combined total greater than $1 billion in revenue in the last 10 years from the sale of AR-15-style firearms. The revenue numbers were released for the committee hearing centered on the marketing and sales of the firearms which have gained notoriety because of the used in the mass killings.

Two of the firms approximately tripled their revenue from the weapons in the last 3 years, the committee found. Daniel Defense, based near Savannah, Georgia, raised that revenue from $40 million in 2019 to a lot more than $120 million this past year. The business sells weapons just like the one found in Uvalde on credit and advertises that financing could be approved in seconds.

Salvador Ramos, accused in the Uvalde shootings,began purchasing firearms and ammunitionwhen he turned 18, eventually spending a lot more than $5,000 on two AR-style rifles, ammunition along with other gear in the times prior to the massacre, authorities have said.

Sturm, Ruger & Co.s gross revenue, meanwhile, has nearly tripled from $39 million to $103 million since 2019, and Smith and Wesson reported that its revenues from all long guns doubled from 2019 to 2021. Gun manufacturers, the committee said, dont gather or analyze safety data linked to firearms.

The increases are against a backdrop of a record-setting overall upsurge in gun sales that began round the start of coronavirus pandemic. About 8.5 million people bought guns for the very first time in 2020, said Republican Rep. Jody Hice of Georgia. He added that, American folks have a right to possess guns.

The hearing comesamid a push by House Democratsto obtain legislation passed that could ban certain semi-automatic weapons. Its the lawmakers most far-reaching response yet to the summers mass shootings.

While AR-15-style firearms arent necessarily the primary drivers of U.S. gun violence overall, their design allows shooters to harm more folks from the greater distance, said Kelly Sampson, senior counsel and director of racial justice with Brady, an organization pressing to get rid of gun violence that generally supports restrictions.

If we renew the assault weapons ban, that could take away an integral little bit of what allows mass shooters to kill more folks in less time without needing to stop to reload, she said.

There were 15 mass killings this season, based on the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killing Database. In accordance with that research, those incidents have gone 86 dead and 63 injured. Guns were found in every one of them, and in at the very least seven instances these were AR-15-style weapons. Mass killings are thought as incidents where at the very least four folks are killed.

However the AR-15 and similar weapons may also be popular with individuals who buy guns for self-defense, said Antonia Okafor, the national director of outreach for the group Gun Owners of America. Such rifles allow people, including women, to shoot a more substantial gun without needing to absorb just as much recoil.

The AR-15 helps it be easier for people who have a physical disadvantage to the attacker with an upper hand, she said.

Wednesdays hearing marked the very first time in 20 years that CEOs of leading gun manufacturers testified about their businesses, Maloney said.


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