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Smith & Wesson CEO faces backlash after he blamed politicians for gun violence

Conference goers have a look at weapons on the Smith and Wesson sales space final April on the 2015 NRA Annual Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Karen Bleier | AFP | Getty Pictures

After releasing an announcement earlier this week blaming politicians for the surge in gun violence, Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith is going through new backlash weeks after he refused to testify at a Home listening to alongside fellow high executives of different weapons makers.

Smith on Monday stated his firm “won’t ever again down in our protection of the Second Modification” and in addition accused politicians and the information media for the surge in gun violence taking place throughout the nation. The Nationwide Rifle Affiliation, the nation’s main pro-gun group, posted the assertion in full on its web site.

“Quite a lot of politicians and their lobbying companions within the media have just lately sought to disparage Smith & Wesson,” Smith wrote.

Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., pushed again on his remarks in an announcement to CNBC on Wednesday, accusing him of in search of to guard the corporate’s earnings.

“The CEO of Smith & Wesson refused to testify earlier than my Committee and face the households who’ve misplaced a beloved one due to his firm’s weapons of conflict,” Maloney stated. “The Committee won’t allow Smith & Wesson to dodge accountability or obscure the gun business’s function in fueling our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”

The Oversight Committee has been investigating America’s firearm business. In accordance with the panel, main gun producers together with Smith & Wesson have remodeled $1 billion within the final decade promoting military-style weapons by allegedly manipulative advertising and marketing practices.

“Highland Park, Parkland, San Bernardino, Aurora — these mass murders had been all dedicated with Smith & Wesson assault weapons,” Maloney stated. “Because the world watches the households of Parkland victims relive their trauma by the shooter’s trial, it’s unconscionable that Smith & Wesson continues to be refusing to take accountability for promoting the assault weapons used to bloodbath Individuals.”

Kyle Rittenhouse additionally used a Smith & Wesson rifle to kill two folks and injured a 3rd throughout a 2020 protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Rittenhouse was accredited on all counts associated to the shootings.

The nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Security additionally criticized Smith’s assertion.

“Smith & Wesson’s bombastic assertion — and their CEO ducking a Congressional listening to — tells me that they are scared,” stated Everytown for Gun Security govt Nick Suplina.

CNBC reached out to Smith & Wesson for additional remark.

In July, the Home Oversight Committee held a listening to with the CEOs of main gun producers Sturm, Ruger & Firm and Daniel Protection. They defended their companies, arguing that the main target needs to be on shooters and psychological well being reform. Smith was set to additionally seem on the listening to however withdrew simply 5 days prior, in line with committee paperwork.

The committee has issued a subpoena to Smith & Wesson for paperwork associated to its manufacturing and sale of AR-15-style firearms.

Smith, in his assertion Monday, stated politicians have “vilified, undermined and defunded regulation enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to carry criminals accountable for his or her actions, overseen the decay of our nation’s psychological well being infrastructure, and customarily promoted a tradition of lawlessness , Smith & Wesson and different firearm producers are someway liable for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these damaging insurance policies.”

He didn’t identify any politicians.

Everytown for Gun Security participated in a 2020 criticism made towards Smith & Wesson to the Federal Commerce Fee. The group accused the corporate of using unfair and misleading practices to market the rifles to younger, male shoppers.

“For much too lengthy, they have been allowed to shirk any accountability for his or her function in our nation’s gun violence epidemic and the atrocities which have been perpetrated with their merchandise. As an alternative, they’ve accomplished every little thing they’ll to promote extra weapons to extra folks, penalties be damned. However the American folks have had sufficient,” Suplina stated.

Smith & Wesson is ready to launch its subsequent quarterly earnings report Sept. 7. Its inventory is down greater than 13% up to now this 12 months.

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