Manufacturer Of Gun Used In Uvalde Shooting Facing Backlash
Daniel Defense posted a message to its website after the Robb Elementary School shooting, acknowledging the weapon was indeed one of its own.
A controversial weapons maker is now under even more scrutiny in the wake of the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas.
Georgia-based Daniel Defense produces firearms and accessories, including custom variants of rifles. The company's flagship semi-automatic rifle is the DDM4 V7 AR-15.
The gunman in Uvalde used that very weapon to kill 21 people at Robb Elementary school last week.
Authorities say he bought the $1,800 gun to "celebrate" his 18th birthday.
Four of its semi-automatic weapons were also part of the arsenal used by the gunman who killed 58 people in Las Vegas.
Daniel Defense is one of the largest privately owned firearms manufacturers in the U.S.
And provocative marketing techniques helped get it there, like fast-moving, high-quality videos drowning in electronic music, featuring gun-toting young adults and allusions to popular video games and movies.
Daily social media posts littered with emoji promoting Sunday Gunday, normalizing "kitchen Daniels," pushing "not your Grandpa's bolt gun."
But perhaps the most provocative — a now-deleted tweet — featured a toddler holding a rifle captioned with a Biblical proverb: "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it."
"We are totally committed to having the highest quality firearms in the world," Daniel Defense CEO Marty Daniel said.
Industry experts say Daniel has always pushed the envelope when it comes to marketing tactics.
But amid the tragedy in Uvalde, Daniel Defense seems to be pulling back.
Its Twitter page is now locked as national anger deepens.
The company posted a message to its website after the shooting, acknowledging the weapon was indeed one of its own and promising to keep the victims and their families in their thoughts and prayers.
And Daniel Defense was notably absent from the National Rifle Association convention over the weekend.
There are murmurs that lawsuits against Daniel Defense are coming from the families of the victims in Uvalde. But federal law could complicate those efforts.
"In firearms, you have this person who comes between the company and the victim and that person is a criminal who is out to do harm," said Georgia State University Law Professor Timothy Lytton. "And the law is often very reticent to hold anyone liable, other than the person who intentionally takes a firearm and murders someone with it or harms someone with it. And so, firearms are not the same as tobacco and opioids when it comes to the nature of the public health crisis."
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