WASHINGTON — Gunmakers have made more than $1 billion from the sale of AR-15-style weapons over the past decade, and for two companies that revenue has tripled in the last three years, according to a report. home investigation presented on Wednesday.
Those gains came as the guns were used in mass shootings that have horrified the nation, including one that left 10 people dead at a Buffalo grocery store and another where 19 children were shot to death in Uvalde, Texas.
Those guns are often marketed to young men as a way to prove their masculinity, the Oversight and Reform Committee said. Some ads mimic popular first-person shooter video games, while others claim the guns will put buyers “at the top of the testosterone food chain.”
Those sales tactics are “deeply disturbing, exploitative and reckless,” said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. “In short, the gun industry is profiting from the blood of innocent Americans.”
The committee he chairs focused its investigation on five major gun manufacturers, finding that they made a combined total of more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 10 years from the sale of AR-15-style firearms, which mimic the look of guns. military. style weapons. The revenue figures were released ahead of a committee hearing examining the marketing and sales of firearms that have gained notoriety for their use in mass murder.
Two of those companies tripled their gun revenue in the last three years, the committee found. Daniel Defense, the company that made the gun used in Uvalde, increased its revenue from $40 million in 2019 to more than $120 million last year. The company sells weapons like the one used in that shooting on credit and advertises that financing can be approved “in seconds.”
Meanwhile, Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s gross profits have jumped from $39 million to more than $103 million since 2019, and Smith and Wesson reported that its revenue from all long guns doubled from 2019 to 2021.
Those increases come against the backdrop of a record overall surge in gun sales that began around the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Gun manufacturers, the committee said, do not collect or analyze safety data related to firearms.