INSTITUTE INDEX: Uvalde massacre gunmaker is a major federal contractor and political donor

Daniel Defense AR-15 style semi-automatic rifle

An AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle manufactured by Daniel Defense. Salvador Ramos, the gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas last month, purchased two similar weapons from the company, one of which he used to carry out the massacre days after he turned 18. (Photo by Michael Guio via Flickr.)

Number of victims, including two teachers, killed by an 18-year-old man wielding an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, on May 24: 21

Date on which a school employee and the father of one of the victims took initial steps that could lead to a lawsuit against Georgia-based gunmaker Daniel Defense, sending a letter to the private company asking for information about its marketing to teens and children: 6/3/2022  

Size of the settlement won by attorney Josh Koskoff, now representing the Uvalde child victim's family, in a previous lawsuit brought against gunmaker Remington Arms of North Carolina on behalf of relatives of victims of the 2012 Sandy Hook elementary school massacre in Connecticut: $73 million

Date on which the Daniel Defense Twitter account posted a since-deleted tweet that showed a young child holding an AR-15-style rifle with a caption from Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it:" 5/16/2022

Current minimum age to buy a rifle in Texas, a state where politics have been inundated with contributions from the gun lobby, and where Republican leadership has steadily loosened gun laws in recent years despite polls showing most Texans support strict gun laws: 18

Year in which Daniel Defense founder Marty Daniel, a former garage door salesman, got his big break at a gun show in Orlando, Florida, where he was approached by a representative of the U.S. Special Forces about producing accessories for combat rifles: 2002

Size of the first U.S. government contract Daniel won: $20 million

Year in which Daniel also won a contract making arms for the British government: 2008

Year by which Daniel had expanded to making guns for ordinary consumers: 2009 

Since then, amount Daniel Defense has spent on lobbying at the federal level: $830,000

Year in which the company started donating to political candidates, according to data from 2010

From 2010 to 2020, amount the company spent supporting Democratic congressional candidates: $8,720 

In that same period, amount it spent supporting Republican congressional candidates: $253,031

In 2021, amount Daniel Defense donated to a super PAC called Gun Owners Action Fund, which in the last election cycle spent almost $2 million, most of it going to attack Democrats: $100,000

Back home in Georgia, amount Daniel Defense has donated to the campaigns of Republican Gov. Brian Kemp and Attorney General Chris Carr, the state House Republican Caucus, and the state Republican Party, respectively: $25,200, $15,200, $10,000, and $5,000

Amount Marty Daniel and his wife have contributed so far in the current election cycle to candidates, all Republicans, including U.S. Sens. John Kennedy of Louisiana and Tim Scott of South Carolina as well as U.S. Senate hopeful Herschel Walker of Georgia: over $70,000 

Date on which Democratic U.S. Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney of New York, chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, sent a letter to Daniel Defense requesting information including revenue and profits from selling semi-automatic rifles, the amount spent marketing the weapons, and donations given to the National Rifle Association: 5/26/2022

Number of deals Daniel Defense has signed to date with the U.S. Marshals Service, its top contracting agency, followed by the Navy, Army, and State Department: 139

Date on which Daniel Defense's most recent government purchase order was signed, to provide more guns for the U.S. Marshals Service: 6/3/2022 

(Click on figure to go to source.)