Smith & Wesson CEO Faces Backlash over Comments

After releasing a statement earlier this week blaming politicians for the surge in gun violence, Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWBI) CEO Mark Smith is facing new backlash weeks after he refused to testify at a House hearing alongside fellow top executives of other weapons makers.

Smith on Monday said his company “will never back down in our defense of the Second Amendment” and also accused politicians and the news media for the surge in gun violence happening across the country. The National Rifle Association, the nation’s leading pro-gun group, posted the statement in full on its website.

“A number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media have recently sought to disparage Smith & Wesson,” Smith wrote.

Carolyn Maloney, Democratic Congress Member from New York and Oversight Committee Chair, pushed back on his remarks in a statement on Wednesday, accusing him of seeking to protect the company’s profits.

“The CEO of Smith & Wesson refused to testify before my Committee and face the families who’ve lost a loved one because of his company’s weapons of war,” Maloney said. “The Committee will not permit Smith & Wesson to dodge accountability or obscure the gun industry’s role in fueling our nation’s gun violence epidemic.”

The Oversight Committee has been investigating America’s firearm industry. According to the panel, major gun manufacturers including Smith & Wesson have made over $1 billion in the last decade selling military-style weapons through allegedly manipulative marketing practices.

SWBI shares dipped 12 cents to $15.18

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