AR-15 Style Guns Have Brought In Over $1 Billion In 10 Years

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FILE - AR-15-style rifles are on display at Burbank Ammo & Guns in Burbank, Calif., June 23, 2022. Gun manufacturers have made more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns over the past decade, and for two companies those revenues have tripled over the last three years, a House investigation unveiled Wednesday, July 27, found. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

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Gun manufacturers have made more than $1 billion from selling AR-15-style guns over the past decade, and for two companies those revenues have tripled over the past three years, according to a House investigation unveiled Wednesday.

Those profits have come as the weapons have been used in mass shootings that have horrified the nation, including one that left 10 people dead at a grocery store in Buffalo and another where 19 children were shot to death in Uvalde, Texas.

Those guns are often marketed to young men as a way to prove their masculinity, the Committee on Oversight and Reform said. Some ads mimic popular first-person shooter video games, while others claim the weapons will put buyers “at the top of the testosterone food chain.”

Those sales tactics are “deeply disturbing, exploitative and reckless,” said Democratic Rep. Carolyn Maloney of New York. “In short, the gun industry is profiting off the blood of innocent Americans.”

The committee she chairs focused its investigation on five major gunmakers, and found they took in a combined total of more than $1 billion in revenue over the past 10 years from the sale of AR-15-style firearms, which mimic the look of military-style weapons. The revenue numbers were released ahead of a committee hearing examining the marketing and sales of the firearms that have gained notoriety because of their use in the mass killings.

Two of those companies tripled their revenue from the weapons over the past three years, the committee found. Daniel Defense, the company that made the gun used in Uvalde, raised its revenue from $40 million in 2019 to more than $120 million last year. The company sells weapons like the one used in that shooting on credit and advertises that financing can be approved “in seconds.”

Sturm, Ruger & Co.’s gross earnings, meanwhile, have gone from $39 million to over $103 million since 2019, and Smith and Wesson reported that its revenues from all long guns doubled from 2019 to 2021.

Those increases are against a backdrop of a record-setting overall increase in gun sales that began around the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Gun manufacturers, the committee said, don’t gather or analyze safety data related to firearms.

The hearing comes amid a push by House Democrats to get legislation passed that would ban certain semi-automatic weapons. It’s the lawmakers’ most far-reaching response yet to this summer’s mass shootings.

It also comes a time when such violence appears to be on the rise.

There have been 15 mass killings this year, according to the Associated Press/USA TODAY/Northeastern University Mass Killing Database. According to that research, those incidents have left 86 dead and 63 injured. Guns were used in all of them. Mass killings are defined as incidents where at least four people were killed.

(AP)


3 COMMENTS

  1. What a thoroughly disgusting piece of dishonest “reporting” by AP, and shame shame shame on YWN for republishing it.

    The AR-15 is the most popular rifle in the country, so of course it’s had good sales! How else could it be, and why would any normal person be concerned about that? It’s no more dangerous than any other rifle; the campaign to demonize it is deliberate and cynical. It’s popular because it’s a useful weapon; flexible, suitable for use by the whole family. And because it looks good; there’s nothing wrong with that, just as cars sell better if they look good.

    The fact that they’re also, very occasionally, used to murder people is no different from any tool. Cars are used to murder people more often; would it ever occur to anyone to mention that fact when reviewing a popular car?! Rifles of all kinds, including AR-15s, are used very rarely for murder; more people are murdered without any weapons at all than with rifles.

    The claim that they’re marketed to young men to boost their sense of masculinity is pure slander and the reporter’s diseased fantasy. It’s beneath even addressing seriously.

    One thing is sure: Any attempt to ban AR-15s will be overturned immediately. It would be a brazen violation of the constitution, and anyone advocating it is a traitor to the constitution and to our fundamental freedoms. Whoever wrote this should go live in North Korea.

  2. An AR-15 is technologically equivalent to what the military considered state of the art in the 1940s and 1950s (semi-automatic), when it was replaced by automatic rifles (M-16 in particular). A militia relying on an AR-15 would be wiped out by modern 21st soldiers.

    If you look at people killed by rifles, it appears they are seriously LESS threatening than automobiles. Of course, the Democrats want to force people to give up driving (elites with fancy electric in large cities, exempted).

  3. Akuperma, even in the 1940s and ’50s the military did not use semi-automatic rifles. In fact at that time they were even MORE reliant on automatic fire than they are now. The AR-15 derives from the M-16. It’s basically a semi-automatic version of the M-16, suitable only for civilian use. It is not and has never been a “weapon of war”.