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House oversight chair seeks to hold firearms industry accountable

Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, speaks during a hearing examining the practices and profits of gun manufacturers at the U.S. Capitol in July. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a64c198cc5efd74efa644d433dcff7fa/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform Carolyn Maloney, D-NY, speaks during a hearing examining the practices and profits of gun manufacturers at the U.S. Capitol in July. Photo by Bonnie Cash/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 19 (UPI) -- House Oversight Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., introduced two bills Friday that would make it harder for firearms manufacturers to sell assault weapons to civilians.

The Firearm Industry Fairness Act would hit manufacturers who produce semi-automatic assault weapons with a 20% tax on their total revenue. Those funds would then be used to prevent gun violence and support victims.

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The other bill, called The Firearm Industry Crime and Trafficking Accountability Act, would make it a requirement that every firearm manufacturer create a system that allows them to track crimes committed with guns they have sold.

It also requires manufacturers to stop distributing weapons to a retailer if they believe those guns will be used for criminal purposes.

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"Today's legislation responds directly to findings from my Committee's investigation showing that the top assault weapon manufacturers have collected more than $1 billion in revenue selling assault weapons to civilians, while refusing to track the crimes carried out with these weapons," Maloney said in a statement.

"These bills would impose a 20% revenue tax on these manufacturers so that the family hunting rifle is not taxed at the same rate as an assault weapon, and would ensure that the firearm industry, like others industries in America, takes responsibility for the safety and misuse of its products."

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Friday's legislation comes on the heels of a three year investigation that the Oversight Committee has conducted into gun dealers that sell guns used in crimes.

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In April, the committee released its preliminary findings, showing that a small number of gun dealers have sold thousands of guns used in violent crimes.

In June, President Joe Biden signed a bipartisan bill that strengthened firearm requirements.

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