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US gun managers say criminals, not guns, are responsible for mass shootings

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WASHINGTON, July 27 (Reuters) – Top executives of US arms manufacturers testified on Wednesday that criminals, not their products, were responsible for mass shootings as they faced questions from a US House committee investigating recent massacres in Texas and New York .

Sturm’s chief executives, Ruger & Co Inc (RGR.N) and Daniel Defense Llc, testified at one of a series of hearings held by the House of Representatives Oversight Committee following mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas; Buffalo, New York; and Highland Park, Illinois.

The May shootings just 10 days apart at an Uvalde elementary school and a supermarket in Buffalo, along with the July 4 eruption at a parade in Highland Park, claimed a total of 38 lives – and sparked a decades-long debate over possession. of firearms again.

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“The gun industry has flooded our neighborhoods, our schools, even our churches and schools, and made it rich,” committee chair Carolyn Maloney said in her opening statement on Wednesday.

She highlighted the committee’s report, which found that five major weapons manufacturers have made more than $1 billion in sales of assault rifles in the past decade.

Marty Daniel, the chief executive of Daniel Defense, defended his company and the firearms industry, saying that the semi-automatic assault weapons sold today are “nearly the same as those manufactured 100 years ago.”

“Our nation’s response should focus not on the type of weapon, but on the type of person likely to commit mass shootings,” he said in his opening statement.

A semi-automatic rifle made by Daniel Defense was one of the weapons used in the Uvalde shooting.

Christopher Killoy, president and CEO of Sturm, Ruger, reiterated Daniel.

“A firearm, any firearm, can be used for good or for evil. The difference is in the intention of the person who owns it,” Killoy told committee members.

Mark Smith, president and CEO of Smith & Wesson Brands Inc (SWBI.O), was invited and initially agreed to attend, but then changed his mind, said committee chairperson Maloney.

Maloney said she plans to sue Smith and other Smith & Wesson executives to “finally get answers about why this company sells assault weapons to mass murderers.”

A Smith & Wesson rifle was used in the Highland Park murders, while Bushmaster Firearms International Llc made the weapon used in Buffalo.

The committee asked for comments from each of the executives after the Uvalde and Buffalo shootings.

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Reporting by Moira Warburton and Rose Horowitch in Washington; adaptation by Richard Pullin and Jonathan Oatis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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