US House committee subpoenas gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson in AR-15 probe
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US House committee subpoenas gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson in AR-15 probe

The United States House Oversight Committee Tuesday subpoenaed gun manufacturer Smith & Wesson to gather more information about the sale of its AR-15-style rifles. Smith & Wesson’s AR-15-style rifles have been used in multiple mass shootings, including a July 4 shooting in Highland Park, IL.

According to the letter informing CEO Mark P. Smith of the subpoena, Smith previously agreed to testify before the committee but withdrew five days before the July 27 hearing. Executives from Daniel Defense and Sturm, Ruger & Co both attended the July 27 hearing and testified about their companies’ practices.

The letter alleges that Smith & Wesson refused to deliver sales information the committee requested. Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney stated the committee, “made several good-faith attempts to secure your voluntary participation, including offering that you could testify remotely, but your counsel continued to indicate you would not appear.”

The committee’s investigations into leading AR-15-style rifle manufacturers is ongoing. The committee released a memorandum ahead of the July 27 hearings summarizing the findings so far. The memo listed concerning patterns of practice among all four companies, including the marketing of AR-15-style rifles, alleged association with certain white supremacist organizations and the lack of record-keeping of accidents and intentional killing with the companies’ products. 

The memo cited incidents such as the “Big Igloo Aloha” AK-47-style assault rifle, marketed by Palmetto State Armory, which appeared to be targeted towards a white supremacist organization called the “Boogaloo Movement.” The committee also found extensive military-based advertising for weapons sold mostly to civilian customers, including an advertisement from Smith & Wesson with multiple law enforcement and military emblems, which reads: “The chosen one. Tested. Proven. Selected by Professionals.”

Smith & Wesson has yet to comment on the subpoena or the memorandum.