- VPC Backgrounder on Daniel Defense
This backgrounder contains information on Daniel Defense, the manufacturer of the assault rifle used in the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24, 2022. This backgrounder contains rifle production information, prior mass shootings involving the company’s assault rifles, examples of advertising and catalog excerpts citing the firepower and military pedigree of their weapons, the “disappearance” of Daniel Defense’s booth at the NRA’s annual meeting this weekend, and a disturbing 2014 video released by the NRA promoting Daniel Defense equating a woman with one of its guns.
- Violence Policy Center Statement on Mass Shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas
Statement from Violence Policy Center Executive Director Josh Sugarmann following the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
- Mass Shootings Involving Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines
The shooter at Robb Elementary School is reported to have used a semiautomatic Daniel Defense AR-15-style assault rifle and had at least seven 30-round ammunition magazines.
Mass Shootings in the United States Involving Large Capacity Ammunition Magazines offers examples of mass shootings since 1980 in which large capacity ammunition magazines are known to have been used. The list includes available information on the casualties, firearms, and large capacity ammunition magazines in each of the mass shootings.
- Gun Industry and National Rifle Association Marketing of Guns Targeting Children
The shooter purchased two assault rifles, one of which has been confirmed as the Daniel Defense gun, on his 18th birthday, the age requirement under federal law for purchasing a rifle or shotgun. And while persons under age 18 cannot legally purchase a gun from a Federal Firearms License (FFL) holder, the firearms industry and gun lobby nevertheless routinely target children and teens in their firearms marketing. Such guns include AR-15 assault rifles designed exclusively for children.
“Start Them Young” ꟷ How the Firearms Industry and Gun Lobby Are Targeting Your Children (February 2016) documents the coordinated, ongoing efforts by the firearms industry and gun lobby to market guns to children. In recent years these efforts have intensified with little regard for the lethal consequences: the use of guns by children and teens in suicides, homicides, fatal unintentional shootings, and mass murder.
Gun Violence Prevention Groups Condemn Launch of AR-15 Assault Rifles Designed Specifically for Children (January 2022) details how an Illinois-based gun manufacturer is marketing AR-15 assault rifles designed specifically for children. Manufactured by WEE1 Tactical, and dubbed the JR-15, the company promises that the children’s assault rifle “looks, feels, and operates just like Mom and Dad’s gun.”
- Gun Industry Marketing of Assault Rifles and High-Capacity Pistols Using Militarization Themes
The Daniel Defense AR-15 assault rifle used in the shooting is just one example of the military-bred weaponry sold to civilians in the United States which are marketed using militarized themes and images.
Examples of How the Gun Industry Markets Its Militarized Weapons to Civilian Gun Buyers is a three-part slide show that presents firearms industry ads and catalog images and exposes the common themes that gunmakers use in their marketing of militarized weapons, including Daniel Defense (slide show three, slide nine). These themes include: language and images that equate military-bred weaponry as the virtual embodiment of freedom; the use of terms and images drawn from military or law enforcement extolling the virtues of the potential gun buyer, including hero; and, language and images touting that the guns being sold are identical, or virtually identical, to the weapons carried and used by law enforcement or the military.
- Lethal Gun Violence and Latinos
The pupils who attend Robb Elementary School are predominantly Latino. Latinos are disproportionately affected by firearms violence in the United States. Nearly 70,000 Latinos were killed by guns between 1999 and 2019, including 44,614 gun homicide victims and 21,466 gun suicides. (Federal data analyzed for this research commonly uses the term “Hispanic” as opposed to Latino.)
Hispanic Victims of Lethal Firearms Violence in the United States (July 2021) is an annual publication in both English and Spanish that presents available information on lethal gun violence against Latinos in the United States. Additional VPC studies on Latinos and lethal gun violence can be found here.