Watchdog group alleges maker of gun used in Uvalde school shooting violated law with donation

Daniel Defense, the gun manufacturing company of the rifle used in the Uvalde, Texas, elementary school shooting, has been accused of violating the law by contributing to a super PAC while maintaining several federal contracts, according to a watchdog group.

The Campaign Legal Center filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission after Daniel Defense reportedly contributed $100,000 to the Gun Owners Action Fund despite having “multiple open contracts with federal agencies,” the center said.

Those contracts included agreements with the Department of Defense, Department of State and Department of Justice.

Since then, the company has also secured a $9.1 million Department of Defense contract as of March 2022, according to the group.

“Courts have consistently upheld the decades-old ban on federal contractor contributions,” the watchdog group said on Monday, attributing the ban to  the risks of allowing “beneficiaries of taxpayer-funded federal contracts to use some of their profits to effectively exchange campaign contributions for additional contracts.”

“Taxpayer-funded federal contracts are not for sale, and the FEC must act to enforce this critical prohibition and deter further violations,” the group added.

The Hill has reached out to Daniel Defense for comment.

After the shooting in Uvalde left 19 children and two adults dead, the gun manufacturer, which made the DDM4 V7 rifle used in the shooting, withdrew from its scheduled appearance at the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual meeting in Houston, Texas.

“Daniel Defense is not attending the National Rifle Association (‘NRA’) meeting due to the horrifying tragedy in Uvalde, Texas where one of our products was criminally misused,” a spokesperson for the company previously told The Hill.

“We believe this week is not the appropriate time to be promoting our products in Texas at the NRA meeting,” the spokesperson added.

The House Oversight and Reform Committee has also launched an investigation into the company, and it has come under scrutiny for marketing to children.

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