Assault Weapons Makers Pulled In Over $1 Billion as Violence Surged, Report Says

The report showed that, as the country has struggled to cope with an epidemic of gun violence that has plagued schools, churches, supermarkets, concerts and shopping malls, firearms manufacturers have been enjoying ballooning proceeds from the sale of the weapons used to carry out mass shootings.

Daniel Defense’s revenue from AR-15-style rifles tripled from 2019 to 2021, to over $120 million from $40 million, the report said. Daniel Defense manufactured the AR-15-style rifle that was used by the 18-year-old gunman in Uvalde.

Ruger, the country’s largest maker of rifles, reported that its gross earnings from AR-15-style rifles also nearly tripled from 2019 to 2021, increasing to over $103 million from $39 million. The company’s AR-15-style rifle and pistols were used by mass shooters in Sutherland Springs, Texas, in 2017 and Boulder, Colo., in 2021.

Smith & Wesson’s revenue from all long guns, which include AR-15-style rifles, more than doubled between 2019 and 2021, to $253 million from $108 million. The company sold the weapon used in the July 4 massacre in Highland Park, Ill., as well as the Parkland school shooting in Florida in 2018.

Sig Sauer, the company that sold the AR-15-style rifle used in a mass shooting in 2016 at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., and three of the weapons used by the gunman in Las Vegas in 2017, refused to disclose its revenue.

And Bushmaster, which made the weapon used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in 2012, said it had no financial data from previous years because it was recently purchased by a new company.

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