Smith & Wesson CEO faults politicians’ soft-on-crime policies for urban violence

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The CEO of gunmaker Smith & Wesson fired back at politicians who blame gun manufacturers for gun violence, charging that politicians and their policies are to blame for upticks in violent crime.

CEO Mark Smith, who refused to testify before the House Oversight Committee about whether gun manufacturers have culpability for rising crime rates, argued lawmakers push “irresponsible, soft-on-crime policies” that encourage criminals.

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“It is no surprise that the cities suffering most from violent crime are the very same cities that have promoted irresponsible, soft-on-crime policies that often treat criminals as victims and victims as criminals. Many of these same cities also maintain the strictest gun laws in the nation. But rather than confront the failure of their policies, certain politicians have sought more laws restricting the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens, while simultaneously continuing to undermine our institutions of law and order,” Smith said in a statement.

Smith also said his company “will engage those who genuinely seek productive discussions” and “will never back down in our defense of the 2nd Amendment.”

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The House committee has subpoenaed information from Smith & Wesson, which made the gun used in the Independence Day shooting in Highland Park, as part of its hearings into guns and gun violence.

Gun homicide rates have increased, including a rise from 35% year-to-year from 2019 to 2020, according to the data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smith & Wesson says it does not keep statistics related to crimes committed using weapons manufactured by the company.