Ranking Member Raskin Applauds Biden-Harris Administration’s Bold Action To Combat Gun Violence
Washington, D.C. (March 14, 2023)—Today, Rep. Jamie Raskin, Ranking Member of the Committee on Oversight and Accountability, issued the following statement after President Biden announced an Executive Order implementing critical gun safety measures:
“I applaud the Biden-Harris Administration for taking unprecedented action to slow the spread of the gun violence epidemic at a time when gun violence is the leading cause of death among children in the United States. In the face of Republican efforts to block measures that keep Americans safe from senseless violence and mass shootings, the Biden-Harris Administration has taken bold steps, including by increasing the number of background checks on gun sales—an action long demanded by millions of Americans.
I am particularly pleased that the President is taking decisive action to police the activities of gun dealers and manufacturers—a step that builds on Committee Democrat’s work from last Congress to expose the egregious marketing tactics of gun manufacturers in their efforts to maximize profit, including by marketing assault rifles to children. House Democrats will not rest until comprehensive and enduring gun violence prevention reforms are passed.”
In 2019, Committee Democrats launched an investigation into gun dealers that sell guns used to commit crimes. On April 28, 2022, Committee Democrats released preliminary findings from their investigation, showing that a small number of gun dealers—particularly those in states with lax gun laws—have sold thousands of guns used in violent crimes.
On May 26, 2022, following the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, Committee Democrats sent letters to Daniel Defense, LLC, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., and other manufacturers seeking information on their sale and marketing of AR-15-style semiautomatic rifles and similar firearms, including revenue and profit information, internal data on deaths or injuries caused by firearms they manufacture, and marketing and promotional materials.
On June 8, 2022, Committee Democrats held a historic hearing with survivors and impacted family members from the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York, as well as gun safety experts and advocates, and local elected officials.
On July 27, 2022, Committee Democrats held a hearing featuring testimony from the CEOs of Sturm, Ruger & Company and Daniel Defense, during which the executives refused to take responsibility for the use of their products in mass shootings, make their products safer, or commit to start tracking the injuries and deaths caused by their products. Their refusal followed Committee Democrats’ release of alarming new findings from their investigation into major gun manufacturers’ sales and marketing of AR-15-style assault rifles. Committee Democrats found that gun manufacturers, including Sturm, Ruger & Company and Daniel Defense, collected more than $1 billion from the sale of AR-15 style semiautomatic weapons over the last decade, that the firearm industry employs a variety of manipulative marketing tactics to sell weapons of war to civilians, and that gun companies fail to track or monitor deaths, injuries, or crimes that occur using their products.