Welcome to a weekly series here on Pew Pew Tactical dedicated to the gun news you need to know.
So, keep reading for this week’s notable news headlines…
Table of Contents
Smith & Wesson Subpoenaed by House Committee
Gun maker Smith & Wesson was subpoenaed by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Tuesday to turn over revenue and business practices data.
The House Committee is in the middle of an investigation into the firearm industry. Specifically, the committee is looking into the manufacturing and sale of AR-style firearms.
After refusing to turn over information voluntarily, Smith & Wesson was served the subpoena.
Previously, Smith & Wesson’s CEO, Mark Smith, was set to testify before Congress but later changed course.
“Mr. Smith initially accepted the invitation to appear, but abruptly withdrew from the hearing only five days before it was set to occur — despite the Committee’s good-faith efforts to secure his voluntary participation,” the committee said in a press release.
The committee said it was imperative that the gun maker turn over documents.
“This subpoena was made necessary by your unwillingness to voluntarily comply with the Committee’s investigation, including your refusal to testify about your company’s troubling business practices at the Committee’s July 27, 2022, hearing and your refusal to voluntarily produce key information about your company’s sale of assault weapons to civilians,” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) said in a statement. Maloney serves as the committee’s chairwoman.
Smith & Wesson wasn’t the only gun maker targeted by the committee. The group highlighted four other manufacturers during its investigation. Daniel Defense, Ruger, Sig Sauer, and Bushmaster also topped the list of gun makers the committee seeks info from.
Sig Sauer and Bushmaster also did not meet the committee’s demands for specific information regarding the sales data of its rifles. They, too, may be subject to subpoenas.
Smith & Wesson has not commented on the matter at the time of this article.
Brady Group Says Some Semi-Auto Rifles Should Classify as Machine Guns
Anti-gun group Brady: United Against Gun Violence filed a lawsuit last week claiming that the WASR-10 and other similar rifles are not semi-autos and, in fact, meet the legal definition of a machine gun.
The suit cites the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosive’s NFA definition of a machine as a basis for this claim.
According to the complaint, the WASR-10 “possesses design features which facilitate full automatic fire by a simple modification or elimination of existing component parts.”
The group specifically points to three ways the WASR could be rendered into a machine gun:
- replacing the manufacturer-installed sear system inside the firearm (which enables semi-automatic fire) with a third-party sear system which enables automatic fire;
- shaving down part of the manufacturer-installed sear system to change the way it functions and
- attaching an external device such as a “bump stock” or trigger crank to the firearm.
It’s worth noting that the WASR-10 fires one bullet with every trigger pull, thereby classifying it as a semi-auto under the ATF’s definition.
The suit, which names Century Arms and Romanian gun maker ROMARM, centers on a shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Gilroy, California, in 2019 that claimed three lives and injured 17 people.
During the attack, the shooter used a WASR-10 equipped with a 75-round drum magazine.
There’s no indication that the WASR used in the Gilroy shooting was a full-auto version, which the complaint acknowledges.
“Whether or not the Rifle used in the Attack was, in fact, modified to fire in a fully automatic fashion, its ready susceptibility to such modification rendered it a ‘machinegun’ as sold, prohibiting its sale to the general public,” the lawsuit said.
House Passes Assault Weapons Ban; Bill Expected to Falter in Senate
An assault weapons ban passed the House last week with a narrow 217 to 213 victory, but the measure is expected to falter once it reaches the Senate.
H.R. 1808 would outlaw some of the most popular semi-auto shotguns and rifles on the market, mirroring a similar ban passed in 1994.
“The assault weapons ban would take the weapons of war off our streets and save countless lives,” Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-New York, told Yahoo!
Pro-gun politicians had a different take, though.
“[The bill] constitutes the greatest attack on the constitutional rights of law-abiding gun owners that I have seen during my time here in Congress…Rather than protecting the rights enshrined in the Second Amendment, H.R. 1808 would ban a broad group of firearms, including some of the most popular firearms on the market today,” Rep. Tom Cole said.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, there are over 24 million modern sporting rifles in circulation in the U.S.
Pew Pew Tactical is working on a full article running down what the bill means and what gun owners can expect, so stay tuned.
What do you think of the headlines above? Let us know in the comments. Also, catch up on other Weekly Wraps or news in our News Category.