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Gun Makers Appeal to Masculinity in Ads to Drive Sales

Gun manufacturers use "disturbing sales tactics" to sell assault weapons to civilians while failing to track deaths or injuries that result from the use of their products, says a report from the House Oversight Committee, Axios reports. In May, the committee opened an investigation into five gun manufacturers after deadly mass shootings in Uvalde, Tx., and Buffalo. Gun manufacturers have reaped more than $1 billion from sales of AR-15-style firearms in the last decade, the report said. According to company materials, the gun manufacturers target young men by marketing guns in a way that appeals to consumers' masculinity. One ad suggested that buying AR-15 would ensure "your status at the top of the testosterone food chain."

"The firearm industry has been marketing directly and indirectly to white supremacist and extremist organizations for years, playing on fears of government repression against gun owners and fomenting racial tensions," the report said, noting that gun makers used symbols and names in their marketing materials that nodded to white supremacist organizations. According to the report, the five gun makers being investigated "do not have any systems in place to monitor and analyze" the deaths, injuries and crimes associated with their products. In opening its investigation, the committee requested information regarding the manufacturing, sale and marketing of semi-automatic rifles from the five gun makers: Daniel Defense, Bushmaster, Sig Sauer, Smith &Wesson Brands and Sturm, Ruger & Company. In late July it called on the CEOs of Smith &Wesson Brands, Daniel Defense and Sturm, Ruger & Company to testify before the committee.


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