Credo Action

Stand with Sen. Warren: Tell investors in gun manufacturers to demand change

Sign the petition

Petition to the nine largest investors in the top three gun manufacturers:

"Stop profiting from the gun violence epidemic and instead use your power as major shareholders in Smith & Wesson; Sturm, Ruger & Company; and Vista Outdoors to pressure these companies to take concrete steps against gun violence."

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    Stand with Sen. Warren: Tell investors in gun manufacturers to demand change

    Big Wall Street investors in the major gun manufacturers have been profiting off of gun violence in America for far too long.

    The gun industry is at the root of America’s obsession with guns. They boost their bottom lines by fostering a climate of fear and use the National Rifle Association as a radical front for lobbying against any common-sense gun regulation. But they don’t do it alone. Nine major Wall Street institutions, including heavy hitters like the massive wealth management fund BlackRock, are massive shareholders in the most prominent weapons manufacturers.1,2 They empower and fund the gun industry’s dangerous agenda.

    Now, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is demanding that these investors use their power to force gun manufacturers to make us safer, not more at risk.3 She needs our help to increase the public pressure and spur real action to rein in gun violence.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Tell gun manufacturers’ top investors to demand change.

    Sen. Warren recently sent letters to nine major institutional investors who, together, make up the top five shareholders of the three biggest publicly traded gun makers: Smith & Wesson, a subsidiary of American Outdoor Brands Corporation (AOBC); Sturm, Ruger & Company; and Vista Outdoors. BlackRock is the largest shareholder in both AOBC and Sturm, Ruger & Company.4

    These investors can use their financial power and their power as shareholders to force gun makers to make change. Gun makers can demand that retail sellers of their products enforce age limits or mandatory waiting periods. They can commit to developing and using technology like fingerprint ID that makes it harder for children to accidentally discharge weapons in their homes. They can cut ties with “bad apple” gun dealers: the 5 percent of licensed dealers who sell 90 percent of the guns used in crimes.5 They can fund research into gun violence prevention. And they can stop using millions of company dollars to fund the NRA’s extremism. But they won’t do any of that unless they are forced to do so.

    BlackRock, Vanguard, Fidelity and the other major gun investors have the financial clout to demand change, but it will take sustained public pressure to make them act.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Tell gun manufacturers’ top investors to demand change.

    Pressuring investors and gun makers is no substitute for bold legislative action. But given Congress’ failures, we have to push anywhere and everywhere we can. And now is the time.

    Since the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, there has been massive pressure and organizing. Corporate partners have been abandoning the NRA in droves. People all over the country have been publicizing and criticizing the amount of money their representatives have taken from the gun lobby. Even BlackRock announced it would "speak with weapons manufacturers and distributors ‘to understand their response'" to the Parkland shooting.6 Last month, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink told companies he invests in that they must contribute to the social good. Sen. Warren’s powerful letter to him notes that “having conversations is simply not enough” and now is the time to “put your money where your mouth is.”7

    Sen. Warren is leading the charge to publicly shame Wall Street investors who make money off of gun sales without lifting a finger to stop the culture of death in America. But she needs our help to make it clear that furious Americans are paying attention.

    Stand with Sen. Warren: Tell gun manufacturer investors to demand change.

    Thank you for speaking out.

    References:

    1. Lee Fang, “Does the NRA Represent Gun Manufacturers or Gun Owners?” The Nation, Dec. 15, 2012.
    2. Tory Newmyer, “The Finance 202: Elizabeth Warren urges Wall Street to leverage relationship with gun industry,” The Washington Post, Feb. 27, 2018.
    3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, “Warren Calls on Institutional Investors to Encourage More Responsible Action by Gun Manufacturers,” Feb. 27, 2018.
    4. Ibid.
    5. The Brady Campaign, “The Truth About Gun Dealers in America,” accessed March 1, 2018.
    6. Sen. Warren, “Warren Calls on Institutional Investors to Encourage More Responsible Action by Gun Manufacturers.”
    7. 7. Newmyer, “The Finance 202: Elizabeth Warren urges Wall Street to leverage relationship with gun industry.