**FILE** The community in D.C.'s Ward 8 gathers to protest gun violence. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** The community in D.C.'s Ward 8 gathers to protest gun violence. (Robert R. Roberts/The Washington Informer)

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A congressional oversight committee will hold a hearing Wednesday to examine the role of the firearms industry in America’s gun violence epidemic.

Hosted by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), the hearing also will seek steps Congress can take to hold manufacturers accountable.

“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,” Maloney said.

On May 26, following the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York, the committee sent letters to gun manufacturers Daniel Defense, LLC, Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc., Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc., and other manufacturers.

The letters requested information on the sale and marketing of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles and similar firearms, including revenue and profit information, internal data on deaths or injuries caused by weapons they manufacture, and marketing and promotional materials.

On June 8, the committee held a hearing with survivors and affected family members from the mass shootings in Uvalde, Texas, and Buffalo, New York.

On July 7, following the Independence Day mass shooting in Highland Park, Illinois, Maloney sent letters to the CEOs of several gun manufacturers requesting their appearance at a committee hearing on gun violence.

“Our hearing will examine the role of gun manufacturers in flooding our communities with weapons of war and fueling America’s gun violence crisis,” Maloney said. “It is long past time for the gun industry to be held accountable for the carnage they enable and profit from.”

The committee will livestream the hearing on YouTube and the Committee on Oversight and Reform website. 

Earlier this month, President Joe Biden celebrated the passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act, which he called the most significant gun violence reduction legislation to pass Congress in 30 years.

“Make no mistake about it, this legislation is real progress, but more has to be done,” Biden said during a July 11 event at the White House to celebrate the passage.

The legislation enhances background checks for gun buyers under 21, provides billions of dollars for mental health services, and gives $750 million to states to incentivize crisis intervention programs. It also ensures that individuals convicted of domestic violence can’t buy a weapon for at least five years.

After most mass shootings, social media fills up with posts about thoughts and prayers from lawmakers and others, which wasn’t lost on Biden.

“Will we match thought and prayers with action? I say yes, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” the president at the July 11 event.

The Biden administration promised to continue to use “all of the tools at its disposal” to address the epidemic of gun violence.

Biden’s fiscal 2023 budget proposes $32 billion in additional funding to fight crime, including $20.6 billion in discretionary funding for federal law enforcement and state and local law enforcement and crime prevention programs, an increase of 11% over FY22 enacted ($18.6 billion) and 18% over FY21 enacted ($17.5 billion).

Stacey Brown photo

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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