At Ruger’s annual shareholder meeting today, shareholders voted on a proposal pushed by a group of dissident shareholders — led by nuns, among others — that would require the publicly-traded firearms maker to “detail its plans to monitor violence associated with their guns and develop safer products.” As the New York Times reports,
At the company’s annual meeting, investors approved a proposal from a coalition of religious women and health care networks that Ruger had for weeks urged investors to reject. The vote came at the first gathering of shareholders for a publicly held American gun maker since 17 people died in a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February — an attack that led to boycotts and rallies for gun control.
There was another proposal that would have force Ruger to distance itself from the NRA that was considered too, but that was defeated.
How did the group have the right to put the proposal up for a vote?
Two years ago, members of the advocacy group, which includes the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of Marylhurst, Ore., purchased shares in Ruger; American Outdoor Brands, the owner of Smith and Wesson; and Dick’s Sporting Goods, hoping to influence the companies’ attitudes toward gun safety. Their proposal on Wednesday was backed by a majority of shareholders, including the asset manager BlackRock, Ruger’s largest investor.
Because the proposal passed . . .
Now, Ruger must produce a report by February that addresses how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology (such as using thumbprint readers, like those used on smartphones) and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances.
In response, Ruger issued this statement this evening: