For Release: Friday, August 6, 2010
Manufactured by CT-Based Sturm, Ruger, Pistol Designed for Concealed Carry Exemplifies How Gun Industry Innovates for Lethality
WASHINGTON–The Sturm, Ruger SR9 pistol used by Omar Thornton earlier this week in the mass murder of eight of his co-workers at a Manchester, CT, beer distributor is a prime example of the high-capacity, compact pistols specifically designed for concealed carry currently being aggressively marketed by U.S. handgun manufacturers. During a chilling 911 call (http://www.courant.com/community/manchester/hc-omar-thornton-911-call-police-connecticut-shooting-audio,0,3586755.mp3file), Thornton describes the handgun he used as a Sturm, Ruger SR9 pistol equipped with a high-capacity ammunition magazine. He told the 911 operator that pistols were his “favorites.” Sturm, Ruger is based in Southport, CT.
In its 2010 catalog, Sturm, Ruger describes the SR9 as a “reliable partner” that is “perfectly sized to be comfortable and controllable with a slim, ergonomic grip….The SR9 packs all of the features required by today’s most demanding shooters….” Sturm, Ruger announced in late July 2010 that the SR9c, the most compact version of the SR9, had been named the Shooting Industry Academy of Excellence “Handgun of the Year.”
In a July 29, 2010, conference call on its second quarter earnings, Sturm, Ruger President and CEO Mike Fifer told analysts, “Well, I think the hardest gun to get in America right now is our SR9 compact. And this is a gun that just won the Handgun of the Year….So there’s nothing like new products to generate demand.”
Violence Policy Center Legislative Director Kristen Rand states, “The Ruger SR9 is the classic example of how the gun industry innovates to enhance lethality. Right now, high-capacity pistols and assault weapons–the guns most often used in mass shootings–are the bread and butter of America’s gun industry. It is time to start holding this industry accountable. Today the gun industry is the only manufacturer of a consumer product not subject to federal health and safety regulation.”
It also appears from news reports that Thornton may have been licensed to carry a handgun. If it is confirmed that Thornton was licensed to carry a handgun, this week’s shooting will be at least the 17th mass shooting committed by a concealed handgun permit holder since May 2007.
The high-capacity ammunition magazine Thornton said he used during the shooting was illegal to manufacture during the 10 years the federal assault weapons ban, which expired in 2004, was in effect. Although Connecticut has a state-level assault weapons ban modeled on the expired federal ban, the state does not ban high-capacity magazines.