Just because something is said in congressional chambers doesn’t mean it is accurate, or even true for that matter. Last week, members of the U.S. House Oversight Committee said a lot in a hearing with a firearms manufacturers and representatives from gun-control groups.
The hearing, titled “Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers,” was a blatant attack on the firearms industry from partisan lawmakers. Here are some of the best and worst things said during that hearing.
“[Firearms manufacturers] refuse to accept responsibility, and I would call that a staggering lack of accountability.” –Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.)
Rep. Maloney claims that firearms manufacturers should be held responsible for the acts of criminals.
In reality, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA)—which is currently under attack from Rep. Maloney, President Joe Biden (D), and others, most notably in the form of H.R. 2814—keeps firearms manufacturers from being held liable for the criminal misuse of their products. They can still be sued on traditional product liability grounds, as well as for conducting knowingly unlawful sales.
“[This committee is] now going after firearms manufacturers all for political purposes.” –Rep Jody Hice (R-Ga.)
Not everything in this hearing was bad, and when Rep. Hice had a chance to speak, he took the chance to point out the clearly partisan nature of the hearing. He pointed out anti-Second Amendment politicians’ soft-on-crime and defund-the-police stances that have arguably led to an uptick in crime, and noted that law-abiding Americans and manufacturers shouldn’t shoulder the blame for this.
He later added that “my colleagues seem to forget that the American people have a right to own guns; it’s a constitutional right to defend themselves, and yet we have a perpetual barrage of politicized buzzwords … like ‘assault weapons’ and ‘weapons of war’ to support arbitrary gun grabs, not from criminals, but from law-abiding American citizens.”
“So, [Ruger] will not sell that ammunition either, will you?” –Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.)
This question, posed to Sturm, Ruger & Co. CEO Chris Killoy, was met with the response: “Congressman, we do not sell ammunition.” Had Krishnamoorthi done the slightest bit of homework, he would be a bit more familiar with even the basics of what products Ruger makes.
“Technology, like fingerprint scanners or bracelets with radio-frequency identifiers, are nowhere near the standard for firearms.” –Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.)
President Joe Biden (D) ran on this as part of his anti-gun platform in 2020, stating that he wants to ensure all firearms are “smart guns.”
Working smart guns, of course, do not exist, as we’ve written about extensively. Moreover, even if such technology is developed, it should be the consumers’ choice whether to buy it or not.
“I hear my good friends on the other aisle tell manufacturers how to build a gun, when I don’t think they’ve ever had any experience building a gun.” –Rep. Ralph Norman (R-S.C.)
It should come as no surprise that anti-gun congressmen—who spend copious amounts of taxpayer money on private security—aren’t exactly well versed when it comes to just how firearms work or are made.
Norman added that he has “never had a gun get violent with [him]” in response to the term “gun violence,” which seeks to paint firearms as a problem instead of the criminal element within society.
“We’re splitting hairs.” –Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.)
In her questioning of Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel, Wasserman Schultz repeatedly referred to certain Daniel Defense products as “machine guns,” to which Daniel accurately replied that such firearms were “semi-automatic” firearms.
In doing so, Wasserman Schultz demonstrates her deliberate ignorance of firearms, manufacturers, and the industry as a whole. There are more than 24 million AR-type rifles in circulation according to recent statistics from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Machine guns, meanwhile, have been heavily regulated by federal law since 1934.
“I believe that the vast number of people who carry, including myself, do so because we believe that we have a God-given right to protect ourselves, which is one of the reasons why I became a life member of the National Rifle Association.” –Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas)
While other legislators attacked the NRA by name, Rep. Sessions simply laid out the truth, and emphasized the work the NRA does to defend Americans’ right to defend themselves.
These were just a few of the things said in a hearing that spanned hours and can be viewed here in its entirety.
Just two days after this this, the U.S. House of Representatives voted to ban many commonly owned semi-automatic firearms, which are deliberately mislabeled as “assault weapons” for political purposes.