The U.S. House Oversight Committee recently held a hearing, titled “Examining the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers,” that was clearly designed as an attack on the firearms industry.
In attendance for the hearing were the CEOs of Daniel Defense and Sturm, Ruger & Co., as well as representatives from the gun-control groups Giffords and Brady.
Prior to the hearing, virulently anti-Second Amendment Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.C.), who chairs the House Oversight Committee, said, “With more than 300 mass shootings in the United States so far this year, and gun violence now the leading cause of death of children in America, it is clear that we are in a public health epidemic. Our hearing will examine the role of gun manufacturers in flooding our communities with weapons of war and fueling America’s gun-violence crisis. It is long past time for the gun industry to be held accountable for the carnage they enable and profit from.”
So, before it even began, this hearing had the tone of a big city district attorney prosecuting someone from the steps of a court house.
To start, the mass-murder “statistic” Rep. Maloney referenced is from the Gun Violence Archive, a group that dishonestly inflates the number of firearms deaths in its aim to portray firearms as inherently evil.
“The purpose of this so-called archive is to massively overstate the number of mass shootings and to launder that overstatement through media outlets that favor more gun-control laws,” wrote Charles C.W. Cooke for America’s 1st Freedom.
Beyond that, it’s a carefully-orchestrated manipulation of semantics to claim that firearms are an epidemic, as guns are inanimate objects that are no more than tools. Historically, the term epidemic has referred to the spread of an infectious disease through a community. But many within the medical community have adopted the anti-gun tactic of misapplying epidemic when referring to criminal activity involving firearms. The NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) has reported that this tactic may be contributing to the American public’s diminishing trust in federal health agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
After Maloney’s preview of what was to come, the hearing was simply a chance for anti-gun legislators—for better or worse—to display their true colors when it comes to their clear animus toward firearms.
“Later this week, we hope to vote on the first assault weapon ban in nearly 30 years. The House is also planning to take action to end the outrageous legal immunity that has protected the gun industry from lawsuits for far too long,” said Maloney.
Throughout the hearing—and the mainstream media’s coverage afterwards—the term “assault weapon” was used without any attempt to define it. As the NRA-ILA has reported, the use of “assault weapon” is “a meaningless and politically elastic term.”
This was deliberate demagoguery for political gain; in fact, the National Shooting Sports Foundation recently stated that more than 24 million of these semi-automatic rifles are owned by American citizens—an increase of 4.5 million since 2020. Surely, this must mean they are in “common use” and therefore constitutionally protected according to the Heller (2008) decision.
Moreover, Maloney’s improper description of the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is also dishonest. We’ve written about this topic numerous times here at America’s 1st Freedom (such as here and here), and now anti-Second Amendment lawmakers are simply saying they don’t care about the facts. They’d rather punish law-abiding citizens and manufacturers for the acts of those who blatantly disregard the rule of law.
Like Maloney, many of her colleagues on the committee took shots at firearms manufacturers and law-abiding Americans. They claimed that the PLCAA shields firearms manufacturers from any and all liability. It doesn’t. They said that semi-automatic rifles are “weapons of war.” They are, in fact, very different internally and in functionality from arms actually carried by U.S. soldiers.
Thankfully, there were a handful of lawmakers who defended our constitutional rights and those in the firearms industry. Amongst them was Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who said, “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.”
And Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) aptly said, “This hearing is yet another transparent attempt to malign law-abiding Americans and American companies.”
Stay tuned to America’s 1st Freedom for a breakdown of some of the best (and worst) quotes from this hearing.