Please note: the following proposal is not coming from Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. As they are a publicly traded company, any shareholder owning more than $2,000 worth of stock can submit a shareholder proposal. SEC rules require that the company adds the proposal to the agenda for voting at the next annual shareholder meeting. Ruger’s board is openly against this particular proposal, but they have to include it.
“Gun Safety” 2018 – Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.
RESOLVED : Shareholders request the Board of Directors issue a report by February 8, 2019, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, on the company’s activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products, including the following:
– Evidence of monitoring of violent events associated with products produced by the company.
– Efforts underway to research and produce safer guns and gun products
– Assessment of the corporate reputational and financial risks related to gun violence in the U.S.
SUPPORTING STATEMENT :
Gun violence is a public health crisis with extraordinary human and financial costs. Given our commitment to safety and responsibility, it is imperative that we assess all options for decreasing the societal impact of gun violence and mitigate financial and reputational risks for the company.
The Gun Violence Archive’s recent research found gun homicides up 12% and gun injuries up 50% year-after-year from 2014 – 2017.
A recent Harvard and Northeastern University Study approximated 265 million guns in the U.S. with a population of only 242 million adults – more than one gun per adult. It further found that 55 million Americans own guns and 3% of the population own half the total number of guns in the country, averaging 17 per super owner.
The New England Journal of Medicine published research demonstrating that living in a home with guns increased the risk of homicide by 40 to 170% and the risk of suicide by 90 to 460%.
An estimated 1.69 million children live in a home with firearms according to research published in the Journal of Pediatrics. Research in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found 29% of parents with children 12 years or younger, and 42% of parents with children ages 13 to 17 have unlocked firearms in the home.
Despite being a contentious issue, a recent Quinnipiac Poll shows public support for sensible gun policy at all all-time high. Background checks are now favored by 95% of the population likely to vote. Survey participants also supported: A ban on sales of assault weapons (65%); a ban on sales of guns to people convicted of a violent crime (91%); banning gun modifications that convert weapons to fully automatic capabilities (74%); and stricter regulations on ammunition sales (62%).
While efforts to bring smart guns to the U.S. have been unsuccessful to date, the technology exists and there is reason to believe they could significantly reduce accidental shootings and suicides. Additionally, a recent study in the American Journal of Public Health found that almost 60% of Americans would be willing to buy a smart gun when considering a purchase.
According to the Violence Policy Center, since 1987 Sturm Ruger & Co., Inc. products have been used in 7 mass shootings, responsible for killing 60 people and wounding 70 more. Evidence shows that the American public, in ever greater numbers, is demanding safer guns and responsible firearm manufacturers.
We urge shareholders to vote for this proposal.
[NB: In their filing, Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.’s Board of Directors advise shareholders to vote against the proposal.]