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The Gun Industry Makes Tragedies Like Monterey Park Possible

January 23, 2023

On Saturday night, ten people were shot and killed and at least ten others were shot and wounded in Monterey Park, California in the deadliest mass shooting since the one in Uvalde, Texas, in May 2022. In just minutes, the shooter, who reportedly had a Cobray M11 9mm, a semi-automatic assault pistol, with an extended, large-capacity magazine, devastated a predominantly Asian-American community celebrating the Lunar New Year.

While details are still unfolding, one thing is clear: Weapons like the one used in Monterey Park are made by a gun industry that profits off keeping these weapons in civilian hands. In fact, just last week, the gun industry’s trade association held its annual trade show in Las Vegas, the SHOT Show, and featured dozens of assault weapons and accessories just like the one recovered from the Monterey Park shooter. 

At SHOT Show, held just two miles from the site of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, the gun industry showed off hundreds of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and accessories that dramatically increase a weapon’s rate of fire. And we’ve seen the gun industry’s dangerous marketing designed to sell more guns to everyone, no matter the cost —including using military terminology and images of soldiers to bolster credibility for guns not even used by the military.

At the same time, the industry refuses to acknowledge the devastation its own products have caused. Between 2017 and 2021, law enforcement recovered and successfully traced over 1.4 million crime guns, but, even though gun makers are usually contacted by the ATF as a part of the tracing process, there is no evidence that they cut ties with dealers who willfully violate the law and transfer firearms to criminals. To call out the gun industry’s worst actors, last week, mayors from 31 cities joined to reveal that Glock is the number one seller of crime guns in their cities, with over 10,500 guns recovered in crimes in 2021 alone.

We still have more to learn about the tragedy in Monterey Park, but it’s impossible to deny how it was made deadlier by a gun industry that has only made its products deadlier over the years. While California has strong gun laws that prohibit the purchase of assault weapons and extended magazines, the gun industry is all too ready to flood neighboring states with the weapons — highlighting the need for accountability of the firearms industry at a national level. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to speak with an Everytown expert about the role that the firearms industry plays in exacerbating our gun violence epidemic.

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