BlackRock’s Post-Parkland Approach to Gun Makers: Black Mail

Asset manager BlackRock Inc said on Friday it is pressing gunmakers and weapons retailers in its portfolios to explain how they monitor firearm sales and use, and it is studying the creation of new index-based portfolios of stocks that would exclude gunmakers and retailers.

As you no doubt know, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Delta Airlines, Symantec Corp. and a brace of other media-sensitive corporations have cancelled discount programs they offered to NRA members. It was their way of conspicuously virtue signaling responding to the tragedy of the Parkland Valentine’s Day massacre and “doing something” about the growing problem of mass shootings in the US.

So what? No one joins the NRA for the discounts. While the announcements by the likes of Paramount Rx, Starkey Hearing and First National Bank of Omaha did virtually nothing to hurt the nation’s oldest gun rights org, the companies’ management managed to get themselves some free publicity for a news cycle or two.

But unlike civilian disarmament types who claim the NRA just wants to sell guns, there are actual gun makers out there who really do want to sell them. And if you’re the world’s largest asset manager, you carry a little more weight with them than some obscure Nebraska bank does.

As a recent Reuters story details, BlackRock, Inc. (1.7 trillion dollars under management) has decided to focus their attention on the publicly traded companies in which they own a stake that have interests in the firearm business.

“As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America. We believe that this event requires response and action from a wide range of entities across both the public and private sectors,” BlackRock said in a note to clients posted on its website.

What does that mean? BlackRock is . . .

pressing gunmakers and weapons retailers in its portfolios to explain how they monitor firearm sales and use, and it is studying the creation of new index-based portfolios of stocks that would exclude gunmakers and retailers.

Fortunately, much of the gun business is privately owned…other than American Outdoor (Smith & Wesson, Crimson Trace, Gemtech), Ruger and Vista Outdoor (Savage, Federal Premium, Blackhawk). But BlackRock swing a big..uh…stick with the big three. They’ll will be asking these companies “whether they require retailers to certify they do background checks and whether they require distributors to disclose regulatory warnings.”

And the gun makers will have to respond. Because while gun industry investments are relative pocket change to BlackRock in terms of their overall portfolio . . .

BlackRock is the top shareholder in American Outdoor and Sturm Ruger and is second-largest in a third weapons producer, Vista Outdoor Inc.

Nice gun company you have there. It’d be a shame is somethin’ was to happen to it. 

Not to worry, though. There’s not much even an 800-pound investment gorilla like BlackRock can do to make life difficult for private companies like SIG SAUER, Beretta and GLOCK. Or is there?

For retailers, BlackRock said it is asking questions such as what strategies they use to prevent the potential misuse of guns, such as limits on bulk purchases.

That’s right. BlackRock will also be pestering gun sellers they own like Walmart, Sportsman’s Warehouse, Dick’s and Big 5 about their practices, too.

BlackRock Chief Executive Larry Fink in recent years has emphasized the firm’s focus on social and governance issues, aimed at reducing portfolio risk. That stance, along with the company’s size has made it a focal point of gun-safety activists.

And BlackRock apparently isn’t the only big money manager getting involved.

BlackRock had previously said it would engage with weapons companies, as have other firms including State Street Corp and Bank of America, but they have not offered as much detail about their questions to the industry.

Other big fund investors have not taken a public stance on gunmakers. Spokespeople for Vanguard Group and Fidelity have declined to discuss their engagement with specific companies.

While word of the moves by investment companies will no doubt please our friends at the Brady Campaign and Everytown, as a practical matter, little is likely to change for the gun companies or retailers. At least in the short term. But that doesn’t mean this isn’t one more hassle — and expense — they’ll have to deal with in the post-Parkland era of anti-gun hysteria.

Fun times.



  1. avatar j says:

    There is only one reason they are doing this. Liability. Whether perceived liability through bad media stories, or actual liability, after a shooting.

    1. avatar paul says:

      Actually no. The response to Parkland is well researched, well organized and very well funded. The anti’s have been working hard and waited for an opportunity to press their case. They have been aided by an activist press and craven politicians on both sides. What is becoming apparent to most fence sitters is the anti end game; complete civilian disarmament.
      To all my fellow frogs, the water is getting quite warm and is downright hot in places like NJ, CA, NY. The question is; are we ready?

  2. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    The stench of desperation is strong with you.

    1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

      It’s the stench of fascism, actually.

    2. avatar neiowa says:

      National Socialism

  3. avatar Geoff PR says:

    Keep doing that, Leftists.

    Keep right on demonizing law-abiding gun companies and gun owners with you sick political leanings.

    Keep it up.

    *You* are the ones putting one foot right behind the other on a steady pace on a walk that will lead straight to Civil War 2…

    1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      The question used to be if we wold be smart enough to see the rise of the next Nazi party. Well, the left is censoring, de-platforming, and disrupting anyone who opposes their views. Now they are using corporate warfare. Soon we will be made to wear gold stars.

      When fascism comes to America, it will be under the flag of anti fascism.

      1. avatar Bob999 says:

        Being a student of history, especially the Weimar Republic and the rise of the Nazis, I agree. The similarities between today’s leftists and the Nazis is very close. I have started calling the Democrat Party the Socialist-Nationalist Party, because, well, it explains their ideology…and to send a message that the DNC has become a rebranded fascist movement.

      2. avatar Ed says:

        Yep. As soon as I saw the early interviews with the Parkland Privileged and their thought-policing speech, I said to my wife, “Meet the new brown-shirted ‘youth.’ Disagree with them, and be subject to a virtual branding, and eventually, sociopolitical boxcars, if not the real thing.”

        I’m just wondering what these kids think is going to be the enforcing motivator behind their pursuit of disarmament. “Give up your guns, or we’ll…” What? Shoot us? Or just have their civil [indentured] servants do the dirty work for them?

  4. avatar former water walker says:

    Do they have a controlling interest in these companies they’re strongarming? Seriously its like they’re clueless about FFL’s. Bad day at Blackrock…

    1. avatar pwrserge says:

      The stupid part is that they are literally asking these companies if they break the law. Fun fact, all of these companies sell to distrivutors who sell to FFLs. They only way a gun can be sold without a background check is on the private market.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        And the only way a new gun can get on the private market is if someone buys it from an FFL (with a background check) and resells it.
        The stupidity is strong with this investor. Probably some north east bankers who do not own guns.

  5. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Let the lawsuits begin!

    Public company board have a fiduciary responsibility to their shareholders. Investment firms have a similar responsibility to their partners.

    So… abandoning valuable, legal business (WTF?), and publicly adopting policies that have tanked the revenue and stock price of every company that’s implemented them?

    Class, thy name is action. How about a bunch of us buy one share each in each of these companies. Gives us standing to sue…

  6. avatar bobo says:

    but do they do the SAME thing to all the BEER, BOOZE and tobacco stocks they have??

  7. avatar Jim Bullock says:

    Its “extortion”, not “blackmail.” Sadly, recent usage blurs an old, useful distinction…

    ** Blackmail – “Do what I want, or I’ll tell people what you did.”
    ** Extortion – “Do what I want, or I’ll hurt your myself.”

    The blackmailer will embarrass you in church by announcing what you did from the pulpit. The extortionist demands you keep your mouth shut about what they did, or they’ll break your kneecaps.

    Generally, people selling a product get the word out, or they don’t sell much. “McDonalds, don’t you do that thing, or we’ll tell everybody you sell toadburgers. Really, really excellent toadburgers. The best.” Yeah, not much of a threat.

    Demanding someone stop selling a product, or you’ll damage their business more, well, um, restraint of trade, maybe? Also “OK, now punch yourself in the face. Do it now, or I’m gonna kick you right in the nads.”

    Charming people.

  8. avatar BierceAmbrose says:

    Generally, buying political protection is accounted as a cost of doing business: “SG & A.” I wonder if that’s where they’ll put the lost revenue from this?

  9. avatar Justsomeguy says:

    This article explained what many of us suspected was happening. The question is who is behind it. Does anyone remember a while back that the anti’s were putting together law firms that were sympathetic to their cause? Are these actions the fruit of that consortium? If not this, what are they up too? We haven’t heard anything about that in a while and I’m betting that isn’t good.

    This comment system still sucks. It is as bad as anything on the web and far worse than most. part of winning is to be able to exchange fruitful ideas and build upon them. This site is an excellent place to do that, but the comment system doesn’t support it.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      We had better now be shoving a lot of 2A lawsuits into the pipeline right now in the hopes we get lock on SCOTUS before Trump is gone to cement the 2A’s proper constitutionality.

      Otherwise the Leftists will grievously damage the 2A with lots of little Alinsky ‘Nudges’.

      The one I see that is most critical for our rights is getting mandatory gun registration laws ruled by SCOTUS as unconstitutional.

      Even if we get that, I fear the psychotic Leftist’s raw hatred of the 2A is so entrenched that the next time they control the court they will consider overturning the Heller decision to be morally the same as when the Dred Scott decision got reversed.

      IE, with wild *cheering* by them.

      The 2A will *never* be safe in America as long as the Progressives have a chance to fully control the government.

      As it stands right now, they will *never* accept that the constitution gives the individual citizen a lawful right to own firearms.

      We will never accept the 2A being diminished or eliminated.

      The two sides are roughly 50-50 percent in control of power.

      If they hate guns that much, they need to leave and go somewhere where they can have the false fantasy of civilian disarmament. .

      Serious thought must be made about the divorce of this nation before it’s too late.

      Sooooo, what do we give them?

      Cali and lower New York state?

  10. avatar Hank says:

    I’d rather support an actual private company as it is.

  11. avatar sound awake says:

    the more they villify us the more guns we buy

    the more guns we buy the harder it is to ban them

    they lack understanding

    and a grasp of history

    seizing arms was the last straw in 1775…it will be the last straw now

    theres more of us than there are of them

    way more

    and whatever they try to do to us will be their JOB

    whatever we do in return will be done with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, while mutually pledging to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.

  12. avatar Huntmaster says:

    Socialists do not have the best interests of these companies at heart. They are and never will be their friends. Sooner and hopefully not later, they will realize free enterprise can only exist in a free society. You can only have a free society when the people have the means to resist the government.

  13. avatar Astigmatism says:

    I know Academy is privately owned and last i checked they had all their AR’s on display. Sales picked up after Wal-macht changed their age policy.
    Anyone know if Daniel Defense or Stag Arms are private companies?

  14. avatar Ralph says:

    BlackRock’s Post-Parkland Approach to Gun Makers: Black Mail

    More like green mail.

  15. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Does anyone else realize the danger when an UNELECTED and UNACCOUNTABLE entity controls 6 TRILLION dollars? That entity should be immediately parsed into tiny pieces because it is an existential threat to the well being of the United States of America.

    I stated in the last few weeks that gun-grabbers could eliminate the firearm industry overnight: all they have to do is purchase the top 20 firearm companies and immediately disassemble them. Soros, Bloomberg, Gates, Zuckerberg, and Bezos — who are worth about 1/3 TRILLION dollars combined — could bankroll that endeavor with ZERO impact on their standard of living. And the purchase price of the top 20 firearm companies would be a rounding error for BlackRock.

    1. avatar Quest says:

      This is why gun companies should never be publicly traded; hoodie takers by anti’s are a big. Thank God most aren’t…

    2. avatar Geoff PR says:

      “all they have to do is purchase the top 20 firearm companies and immediately disassemble them.”

      Won’t work. CNC is now so cheap and widespread garage machinists can mass produce guns. Importers can flood the shores with their wares…

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:


        Making lower and upper receivers with CNC machines is relatively easy enough. The really hard part is making quality rifled barrels. CNC machines are no help with that. I cannot foresee thousands of garage workshop machinists cranking out millions of quality barrels.

        Now, I suppose you could argue that an operation does not need a federal firearm license to make barrels and a few entities could spring-up to handle that. And the same five guys could bury those small-ish startups with frivolous lawsuits and ensure that they never see the light of day.

        When a small group of people control 1/3 trillion dollars (or more), there really is no limit to the extent that they can steamroll (whether through buy-outs or “lawfare”) all but the largest of companies.

        1. avatar Ollie says:

          High quality barrels are not needed for a 21st century civil war. A home shop manufactured smooth bore bullet hose spewing out keyholing projectiles would be devastating out to 75 or 100 yards, the range at which most urban fighting will probably occur.

    3. avatar Reef Blastbody says:

      As Quest and Geoff noted, the bar to entry for starting a gun company isn’t all that high. And let’s not forget that in addition to all the new start ups in this scenario, you’d have the existing staff from the hypothetically disbanded gun manufacturers and executives who’d likely take their generous buyout profits and start again, like Richard Dyke did after Bushmaster was relocated to NY and the staff in Windham, ME laid off.

  16. avatar Kyle in Upstate NY says:

    If all of those gun businesses mentioned got knocked out of business, enterprising entrepreneurs would step in and create new companies to fill the demand.

  17. avatar Red Forman says:

    Must be wanting more gun sales.

  18. avatar Ranger Rick says:

    I take it that Black Rick and others enjoyed the “Obama Effect”on firearms sales?

  19. avatar Bob999 says:

    So, does this mean that Blackrock is going to offload their Ruger stock at a discount so they can appear to be a good little fascist company to their leftist followers? I hope so, because I want to buy some of that stock. Heck, if the leftist keep up their assault on We The People, stock in a gun company located in a red state will be worth a fortune.

  20. avatar That One Guy says:

    So…an investment company is going to make sure that the gun makers and gun sellers they invest in are…following the existing ATF laws?

    Do they not trust the ATF? Are criminals buying their guns from mass makers and mass sellers in some fashion that is escaping the ATF but will be caught by BlackRock?

    Honestly, this just sounds like more virtue signalling by a company that wants to “do something” but also continue to profit from the companies they invest in.

    If BlackRock wants to limit its liability, they can just dump the stocks. I’m sure many private citizens would willingly purchase shares in the big three at fire sale prices. Hell, I’d bet that someone would start a gun-based mutual fund that owned nothing but weapon industry stocks.

  21. avatar W says:

    Glad I didn’t invest with them (as I almost did a year ago). Back then it was their front end and back end loading. Now it’s their me-too, prog-lite, virtue-signaling theatrics.

  22. avatar TL says:

    Perhaps this is just my own “virtue signaling”, but last week I took the time to re-examine the holdings in my 401(k). I had $104K in Blackrock’s large cap fund. Had. Changing my future allocations and rebalancing the account was an easy call. I have options, and certainly won’t be opting to enrich those who vilify millions of law-abiding Americans.

    Vote with your feet and your wallets.

  23. avatar KM says:

    I’m not concerned. Not because Black rock and the like won’t make manufacturers and stores uncomfortable for a while, but because after they do, and create an opening in the market for others, someone else will take their place and make money in their stead.
    The market will eventually save it.

  24. avatar neiowa says:

    Sock puppet for the Marxists of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System. Shocking.

    If you have not heard of CalSTRS activist wackos then you have not been paying attention to the world of “investments”. Watermelon THUGS for decades.

  25. avatar Docduracoat says:

    If they become a socially activist investment company, then they will have a lower rate of return
    If you want to make money then guns, alcohol, drugs and sex are the way to go
    Money will flow out of them and into investment companies with a higher rate of return

  26. avatar Rick Bunn says:

    Money talks. If you are an investor and you have business with Blackrock. Send then your thoughts.

  27. avatar blahpony says:

    This seems similar to when all those Ford execs went around to bars. They would ask the people pounding beers if they were planning on driving drunk in the Focus or F-150 they sold them.

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