Gun Control Activists Target Ruger Board Members at Upcoming Annual Meeting

At last year’s annual meeting of Sturm, Ruger & Co shareholders, a small group of activist gun control proponents — or as the media compliantly refers to them, gun safety advocates — put forward a motion to require the company to issue a report that included:

– 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.

See the shareholders’ full proposal here.

The nuisance move was put forward by a small group of anti-gun shareholders led by a group of nuns from Oregon. Normally it wouldn’t have had a prayer of passing, but the proposal was made in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. As a result, some of Ruger’s large institutional shareholders like BlackRock and Vanguard Group signed on in order participate in the growing corporate gun control movement and to signal how terribly concerned they were about “gun violence.”

With the help of the big shareholders, the motion passed and Ruger (like American Outdoor, where a similar move was made) was required to produce the the report.

Now, a year later, the same group of shareholders wants to flex their voting muscles again. As Reuters reports . . .

The plan for this year’s gathering, set for May 8 in New Hampshire, promises to renew a debate over how the company might respond to a series of mass shootings across the United States, including at schools, houses of worship and workplaces.

The activists include Majority Action, a liberal-leaning shareholder group, and religious investors affiliated with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. While they hold a small number of Sturm Ruger shares, last year members of Interfaith Center won backing for a resolution from fund companies including top Ruger shareholders BlackRock Inc and Vanguard Group, showing an ability to set the agenda.

This year the activists said they will call on other investors to vote “withhold” on Sturm Ruger Chairman Michael Jacobi and on company director Sandra Froman, who is also a director of the National Rifle Association and was its president from 2005 to 2007.

After last year’s “success” what are the anti-gun shareholders after?

Eli Kasargod-Staub, Majority Action’s executive director, said in an interview that Sturm Ruger should take a harder look at “smart gun” technology and hold talks with investors, dialogue it has rejected in the past.

He also said the company should step back from divisive cultural issues promoted by the NRA. Together, the topics “are the kind of issues that can and have been productively engaged on through dialogue with long-term investors at other companies,” he said.

Will Ruger’s large shareholders continue to sign on with the anti-gun groups and enable nuisance moves such as these that are only designed to distract the company’s management and work directly against shareholders’ long-term interests? We can’t wait to see.

comments

  1. avatar CalGunsMD says:

    Defang, denude and destroy. These people are a cancer within.

    1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

      They for all appearances would be the domestic enemy the founders spoke of.

      1. avatar Kenneth says:

        “A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear.”

        ― Taylor Caldwell, A Pillar of Iron

        1. avatar Thomas says:

          My goodness have the progs spread their propaganda well, everyone’s an activist, everyone’s a SJW.

          No facts needed, just follow your feelings, just follow the herd.

        2. avatar Thomas says:

          BTW Kenneth +1

        3. avatar EWTHeckman says:

          That’s actually a quote by Marcus Tullius Cicero, the last true statesman of the Roman Republic who was trying to prevent it from devolving into the Roman Empire.

  2. avatar HEGEMON says:

    These groups don’t really have a financial stake in Ruger. They want the company to fold. “Smart-gun” technology is a BS red herring.

    1. avatar TommyJay says:

      Yes. Vanguard manages assets on the behalf of other people. Vanguard doesn’t know the politics or morals of their clients, nor should they assume that they can impose their own.

  3. avatar FedUp says:

    Time for me to write a nastygram to the management of Vanguard, I guess.

    1. avatar Pacer says:

      Yep. My wife and I can transfer and buy shares in index funds anywhere else if we have to.

      1. avatar FedUp says:

        I’m getting ready to allocate more IRA funds in index mutual funds, but I heard that your fund managers have been using customer’s money to vote for ‘shareholder’ proposals designed to damage the companies you have our money invested in. I’m not sure I should retain a fund management with a recent history of such egregious breach of fiduciary duty.

        For example, in 2018 you voted customer owned shares of RGR in support an effort by the anti-gun lobby to cause financial harm to RGR.

        What assurances can you give me that you will never do such a thing again?

        1. avatar Pacer says:

          Good thoughts. A lot of fund companies offer “socially conscious” type funds. I’d be really surprised if Vanguard and Blackrock didn’t. They should limit their virtue signaling to that instead of using their influence with my money to dictate morality on everyone else based on a very small, uninformed minority.

        2. avatar Draven says:

          yep you pretty much have the phrasing there.

  4. avatar pwrserge says:

    Tell the nuns to fuck off. Ruger is under no obligation to spend money on a useless report. If they don’t like it, they can sell their shares.

    1. avatar dph says:

      Not just FO, FOAD. Maybe these nuns should be demanding that the Catholic Church clean up their own house first, and demand a report from the Pope concerning the massive pedophile problem that they won’t put an end to.

      1. avatar John Colvin says:

        So far firearm manufacturers, and the NRA and other similar organizations have been in defence mode allowing the anti-firearm (in reality Socialist Democrat) people to do the attacking. It seems to this writer that it’s time for some high dollar countersuitss against the indeviduals who cook up these neucence actions. The pro-American defence organizations must if they/we are to keep our rights intact should find some people (they should be plentiful) who have lost loved one because of some law which prevented the victim from being able to defend their persons in a way equal to the perpetrator, and take offensive position. THE BEST DEFENSE IS A GOOD OFFENSE!

    2. They already have produced the report as required by last year’s shareholder vote. It was issued in February. American Outdoors did the same. See the links above.

    3. avatar FedUp says:

      Unfortunately, if you owned RGR through a mutual fund company like Vanguard, you already voted to help the nuns. Vanguard voted your shares against both your financial interests and your civil rights interests.

  5. avatar Jay in Florida says:

    Just write report on company stationery. Headings subject:
    NUTTZ
    Have officers sign it.
    That should fulfill their obligations.

  6. avatar barnbwt says:

    How are these “nuns” not subject to antitrust laws? This sounds like conspiracy to defraud shareholders and defame the company in order to manipulate stock prices…or am I missing something?

  7. avatar Sam I Am says:

    Amazing how a company is twisted by publicity to make decisions that negatively affect the customer of their products. These gun-grabbers are a negligible number of their customer base, or not customers at all.

  8. avatar anarchyst says:

    Ruger is not blameless, and has cooperated with the gun control crowd helping pass the “Assault Weapons Ban” with its suggestion (later codified into law) that a 10-round magazine capacity limit be enacted (which was adopted). thankfully, the “assault weapons ban” law sunsetted an was not renewed.
    A little-known fact is that American firearms manufacturers were instrumental in getting the import weapons ban enacted under George Bush. Self-interest, indeed. This ban, which continues to this day, shut off the flow of high-quality, lower-cost imported weapons and prohibited their importation into the U S A. This also includes barrels.
    Sometimes, the American firearms industry is the gun owners’ worst enemy…

    1. avatar Hoss says:

      Man some of you guys can hold a grudge. Bill Ruger has be dead for how long…?

      1. avatar strych9 says:

        17 years I believe.

        1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

          YuP,William B Sr. kicked in 2002.

      2. avatar Lisa Kirk says:

        Wait, did my shitty state’s 10 round magazine capacity limit die with him? I missed that somehow, likely because it didn’t happen. By quantity his legacy is much bigger when it comes to low cap magazines than Ruger firearms..

  9. avatar WI Patriot says:

    “The nuisance move was put forward by a small group of anti-gun shareholders led by a group of nuns from Oregon”

    OH, but they’re okay making money from Ruger stock…how very liberal of them…

    1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      It’s a good point.
      The “holier than thou” religionists have no problem profiting because it funds their efforts to divert Ruger’s time and money away from capitalism. This is just another financial leveraging effort on the part of anti-gunners to neutralize issues they disagree with. Protests, boycotts, denial of credit on the part of banking institutions, excessive taxation. Profit motive was never the real issue but subversion of a democratic process to leverage power toward a destructive end.

      1. avatar Sam I Am says:

        “The “holier than thou” religionists have no problem profiting because it funds their efforts to divert Ruger’s time and money away from capitalism.”

        The reason for nuns owning Ruger stock is not profit. Doubt they hold enough shares to do anything more than attend annual meetings. The reason for nums owning Ruger stock is simple agitation, political activism. Which is why it is curious Ruger would damage its main customer demographic in order to feel good about itself.

        1. avatar Mark N. says:

          It isn’t Ruger that is damaging itself, it is the fact that the agitators have convinced a MAJORITY of the shareholders to go along with them. At that point, they are not a tiny voice, but a compelling one.

        2. avatar Sam I Am says:

          “At that point, they are not a tiny voice, but a compelling one.”

          That is what public shaming is all about.

  10. avatar Jim from LI says:

    Why should Ruger care about their reputation among anti gun people? It’s like a bacon company trying to improve its image with the Orthodox Union.

      1. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

        Bacon,bacon,bacon !

      2. avatar Dani in WA says:

        Delicious, nutritious bacon… Nothing like home grown!

        1. avatar Jim from LI says:

          Note to self: never say the B word around this crowd.

  11. avatar M1Lou says:

    So, the lesson to gun companies is go public at your own peril?

    1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      The lesson is to issue a private class of controlling stock that isn’t available for purchase to anyone who doesn’t agree with the basic premise of the company’s business plan. There are different share classes.
      The shares would carry a vote multiplier allowing core board members to win a vote against a large number of public share votes.
      In the ’90’s I used to work for Raytheon. The company took a serious hit to profit margins after losing a critical contract bid and a majority of irate shareholders voted to oust board members and the CEO when their retirement plans got hammered. The board instituted a “poison pill” vote and the common shareholders weren’t able to fire anyone.
      It seems Ruger’s board needs to learn a few tricks on how to survive in a democracy.

  12. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

    Grow a set and once and for all, tell them to f*** off and leave! You’re not welcome.

    1. That’s easy to say. But when they convince your two largest shareholders — BlackRock and Vanguard, which control almost 30% of the company — to vote with them, that’s harder to do.

      1. avatar Dennis Sumner says:

        Ah, politics and coercion at its finest!

      2. avatar Justsomeguy says:

        I think I’ll start adding gun company stocks to my IRA’s 401K’s. Yes it’s a small thing, but there are a lot of POG’s that have investment vehicles of one type or another. Ya have to start somewhere.

  13. avatar Timothy Toroian says:

    So, when every organization under the sun finish their reports we won’t have any more specific facts or any more of a consensus of causes than we now have.

    1. avatar WI Patriot says:

      Yeah, pretty much…the more inconclusive data, the more they’ll demand more “studies’…

  14. avatar Green Mtn. Boy says:

    As Leftist’s/Marxists do not believe in capitalism,Eff Them and the donkey they rode in on.

    1. avatar TheBruteSquad says:

      They are perfectly happy to hypocritically make hold their enemy to rules they don’t intend to follow.

      “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”

      To defeat Alinsky leftists you need to remember they will never deal with you in good faith. When dealing with them you need to remember they are the enemy, entirely non-persons, and act entirely without remorse.

  15. avatar Narcoossee says:

    This is framing at its finest: “He also said the company should step back from divisive cultural issues promoted by the NRA.” – so when the NRA tries to set an agenda, it’s “divisive”, but when these folks do the exact same thing, it’s not.

    1. avatar Reason says:

      Yep you got it. That is exactly what they mean. They are holier than thou don’t you know. Being Nuns and all. (ignore what’s what’s going on with the priests and kids)

      1. avatar Reason says:

        Maybe Ruger share holders should make an amendment to one of their stupid ideas on reports to include funding a private investigation of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. You know for the good of the community. If saves only one child isn’t it worth doing!?

  16. Since this is a tactic that probably will be used against other organizations selling gun related items, perhaps these affected companies need to try to adopt bylaws in which the majority of stockholders decide whether to allow these nuisance disruptions to proceed, since it would cost the shareholders money to defend the company in court, and/or prepare the frivolous documentation that is being requested, and thus lowering the dividends paid to it’s shareholders. The unhappy and disruptive shareholders would be given an opportunity to sell their shares back to the company.

    1. avatar edward kenway's ghost says:

      That option already exists but Ruger’s board members don’t have enough legal savvy to create private, controlled stock shares that have a voting multiplier. Corporations have the option to enact a “poison pill” procedure during critical votes that can stymie a large majority of public share votes.

  17. avatar Michael says:

    “liberation theologist”, make my old bones tired. A commie is a commie is a commie. I can’t wait for the 2nd term…come the Rising. F-K-A

  18. avatar Rusty Chains says:

    Guess I need to write to Vanguard and remind them that many of their investors are gun owners, and as a group, we are quite willing to move our money to institutions that don’t hate the 2nd Amendment. Most of my 401k is in Vanguard and it can go elsewhere. It is almost time for a portfolio review anyway.

  19. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    The smart gun point is easy:

    We do not want our company to go the way of S&W in the early 00s and therefore we will not be looking into smart gun technology with any sort of fervor.

  20. avatar Ralph says:

    If Ruger’s “large shareholders” hate guns so much, why are they invested in a firearms company?

    I guess they love money more than they hate guns.

  21. avatar possum says:

    Everytime I see that Ruger eagle emblem I think of my 4 year old son ( now 40) looking at the medallion on the grip of a pistol I had. ” Dad we’re calling this the monster gun.”

  22. avatar barnbwt says:

    Just so everyone realizes what is happening here, these are the same “nuns” who met with Dick’s Sporting Goods (oh, and Macy’s Bank was there, too…) to strong-arm them into the anti-gun virtue signaling moves which have now cost the company many tens of millions of dollars. And despite the protests of many of the previous shareholders & customers, by the way. If corporations are ‘persons,’ with rights and everything, how is it possibly legal for a hostile group with open ill intent to invade the corporation by force, then drive it insane & commit suicide?

    I don’t understand how what they do can possibly be legal within our anti-trust rules, since it is open conspiracy with their other business interests (banking establishments) to manipulate, and in this case destroy, lawful commerce. It’s no different than if they intended to buy their way into Ruger in order to price-fix firearms, or bought Remington in order to drive the company into bankruptcy from buying & destroying as much of the gun market as possible (which is more or less exactly what some of the previous owners did). Considering how many pies these “nuns” have their fingers in, there’s probably even a case for RICO-style interstate crime, if we could get a not-anti-gun attorney general for a change.

    And beyond these stupid “nuns” (who are really just a front for a bunch of shady busy-body billionaires, btw), you have this whole “responsible investment” movement, where powerful political groups of all stripes are now lobbying corporations –what else could you call it but lobbying?– to make financially unwise and destructive decisions in order to pursue their pet causes of climate nonsense, institutional racism, and communism, through direct market-manipulation. Again, how can this be anything but some gumbo of antitrust, racketeering, and extortion? None of which are legal.

  23. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    Why don’t gun owners do the same thing to Liberal companies? I like the church but not the pope. But why not ask these nuns what have they done to get rid of the men who like boys in the church????
    Shouldn’t they clean up their own house first?

  24. avatar Johnnyreb says:

    These people are trying to force the company to do things that are against its interest and a threat to profits and the long term survival of the company. As shareholders, they are trying to destroy Ruger from within.

    I thought this was called sabotage. So why aren’t they being charged with it?

  25. avatar Toni says:

    especially as we are dealing with companies that produce personal firearms which is prohibited from the govt making any laws regarding maybe these nuns and every “investment company” that pushes these agendas should be charged with sedition and treason as well as under anti-trust and RICO laws and take them to the cleaners. Make the people involved Personally liable for company and shareholder losses

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Only a government can violate the Second Amendment.

  26. avatar former water walker says:

    “First you get down on your knees fiddle with your rosary” 🎤🎶…being a nun does NOT bestow moral rectitude. You’re evil…I’ll have nun of this. Methinks Ruger needs to get their act together.

  27. avatar Bob Jones says:

    People with money invested in Blackrock or Vanguard should move their accounts.

  28. avatar strych9 says:

    My question is what the investors can actually do.

    Can this group actually manage to legally force Ruger to act against it’s own interest and break it’s fiduciary responsibilities? I would suspect not because if that was the case then buying stock in a rival company and running them into the ground would be a common practice and it’s not.

    The real question is what the corporate law in Delaware says about this situation, since Ruger has an HQ in Bridgeport, Connecticut but is actually incorporated, like a lot of big companies, in Delaware.

    For the answers to these questions you’d need to ask a corporate attorney who is versed in Connecticut business law. Fortunately for me (and maybe you, dear reader) I happen to know one and will ask him later on tonight.

  29. avatar Mark N. says:

    When you write to Vanguard, just remind them what happened to Dick’s profits when it decided to virtue signal. The only reason that the CEO has a job is that he is the majority shareholder; but I have to wonder when a shareholder’s suit will be filed because of all of the losses. And be sure to tell them that they should look at what happened to Ruger’s share price when Bill Ruger backed the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban. And then tell them bluntly that it is their fiduciary duty to maximize investment returns, not seek to cause a business in which an investment is made to lose money or go bankrupt.

  30. avatar James M says:

    Look at the big picture. Small group of religious shareholders are responsible for decreasing the stock value. Large shareholding corp. backs them. When shares drop, the big corp will sell clients stock. Then step in and buy any and all stock attainable. Ultimately robbing their clients. While charging a fee. End result is the corp becomes majority stock holder off the expense of the avg joe. Nuns are the cause. And at that point can push fear to sell more guns before next election. Eventually the people will be gun rich while land and food poor. All the while big business controls the world. When will we open our eyes.

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