Smith & Wesson CEO gets backlash after he blames politicians for gun violence


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In a statement earlier this week, the CEO of Smith & Wesson blamed politicians for the current “increase in violence and lawlessness.”
In response to these allegations, the head of the House Oversight Committee said the business will be held accountable.
CEO of Smith & Wesson Mark Smith did not attend an Oversight Committee hearing on the firearms industry in July.

Image Source- CNBC

Mark Smith, CEO of Smith & Wesson, is facing new criticism after he issued a statement earlier this week accusing politicians of being to blame for the rise in gun violence. Mark Smith had previously faced criticism for declining to testify alongside other top executives of other weapons manufacturers at a House hearing.

On Monday, Smith said that his organisation “would never back down in our support of the Second Amendment” and blamed both politicians and the media for the nationwide spike in gun crime. The National Rifle Association, the foremost pro-gun organisation in the country, released the whole statement on its website.

In a recent attempt to denigrate Smith & Wesson, “a number of lawmakers and their media lobbying partners,” Smith wrote

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., the chair of the oversight committee, rebuked him for his comments in a statement to CNBC on Wednesday, saying he was trying to preserve the company’s profits.

Maloney stated that Smith & Wesson’s CEO “refused to go before my Committee and face the families who have lost a loved one due to his company’s weapons of war.” “The Committee will not allow Smith & Wesson to avoid responsibility or downplay the gun industry’s contribution to the scourge of gun violence in our country.”

The Oversight Committee has been looking into the US gun market. The panel claims that Smith & Wesson and other significant gun manufacturers generated over $1 billion in the previous ten years selling military-style firearms through allegedly deceptive marketing techniques.

Mass killings in Highland Park, Parkland, San Bernardino, and Aurora were all carried out with Smith & Wesson assault rifles, according to Maloney. Smith & Wesson’s continued refusal to accept responsibility for selling the assault weapons used to slaughter Americans is inexcusable as the world watches the families of Parkland victims relive their anguish throughout the shooter’s trial.

During a 2020 protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kyle Rittenhouse also used a Smith & Wesson firearm to murder two individuals and wound a third. In relation to the shootings, Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts.

Everytown for Gun Safety, a charity, disagreed with Smith’s assertion as well.

Executive for Everytown for Gun Safety Nick Suplina said, “Smith & Wesson’s bombastic statement—and their CEO skipping a Congressional hearing—tells me that they’re terrified.

Smith & Wesson was contacted by CNBC for more comments.

The chief executives of Sturm, Ruger & Company and Daniel Defense, two significant gun manufacturers, testified before the House Oversight Committee at a hearing in July. The focus should be on shooters and mental health reform, they said in defence of their companies. According to committee records, Smith was scheduled to attend at the hearing as well but withdrew just five days beforehand.

The committee has issued a subpoena to Smith & Wesson for any records

In a statement released on Monday, Smith claimed that because politicians have “vilified, undermined, and defunded law enforcement for years, supported prosecutors who refuse to hold criminals accountable for their actions, oversaw the decay of our country’s mental health infrastructure, and generally promoted a culture of lawlessness, Smith & Wesson and other firearm manufacturers are somehow to blame for the crime wave that has predictably resulted from these destructive policies.” The committee has issued a subpoena to Smith & Wesson for any records pertaining to the company’s production and distribution of AR-15-style weapons.

He made no mention of any politicians.
The Federal Trade Commission received a 2020 complaint about Smith & Wesson from Everytown for Gun Safety. The organisation charged that the business utilised unfair and dishonest methods to promote the weapons to young, male customers.

“For far too long, they’ve been permitted to avoid taking any accountability for their contribution to the plague of gun violence in our country and the horrors committed with their weapons. Instead, they have taken every measure possible to sell more firearms to more people, regardless of the consequences. However, the American people have had enough, according to Suplina.

On September 7, Smith & Wesson will present its upcoming quarterly results report. More than 13% of its shares has been lost so far this year.


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