For Release: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Smith & Wesson is a top donor to the NRA and helps block gun violence prevention laws
Washington, DC — The shooter at the Fort Hood Army base who killed three and wounded 16 used a gun made by Smith & Wesson, the same company that manufactured the gun used to kill 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado in July 2012. It is also the same company that made the gun used in an attack on TSA employees at Los Angeles International Airport in November 2013.
The killer at Fort Hood used a Smith & Wesson M&P45 semiautomatic pistol (M&P stands for Military & Police), according to news reports. The shooters at the Aurora movie theater and at LAX both used a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semiautomatic assault rifle.
The Springfield, Massachusetts-based company is also a top donor to the NRA, helping further the organization’s goals to block new gun violence prevention laws. Last year, CEO James Debney was inducted into the NRA’s Golden Ring of Freedom in recognition of corporate cash contributions from the company totaling a million dollars or more, as detailed in the recent Violence Policy Center report Blood Money II: How Gun Industry Dollars Fund the NRA.
As recently as March 19, Debney was photographed standing next to NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre with a giant $600,000 check written out to the NRA. In a quoted statement, Debney left no doubt that his company would be working hand in glove with the NRA: “joining together, utilizing shared resources, and working toward the same objectives.”
Smith & Wesson uses disturbing, militaristic language and imagery to market its weapons — despite the fact that its products have been used in recent mass shootings. Another VPC report, Understanding the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Semiautomatic Assault Rifle Used in the LAX shooting, provides examples of how the company markets its products.
“Smith & Wesson’s deadly products have recently been used to inflict terror and death in a movie theater, an airport, and now a military base,” states VPC Legislative Director Kristen Rand. “Yet far from accepting any responsibility or expressing any remorse, Smith & Wesson has decided to protect its bottom line, bankroll the NRA, and help block new gun violence prevention policies.”
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