In the wake of the 2018 massacre in Parkland, Florida and many other tragic incidents of gun violence, investors have been demanding accountability, transparency, and change at gun companies, including Sturm Ruger, the country’s largest gun manufacturer.
But instead of recognizing the need for change, Sturm Ruger has been doubling down on the status quo. Its leadership has refused to take any responsibility for improving the safety of guns or monitoring their distribution and sale, and it has refused to engage in dialogue with shareholders about addressing risks posed to its business by the epidemic of gun violence. The company continues to pursue fear-based sales to existing gun owners, rather than investing in improved gun safety.
One Ruger board member, Sandra Froman, is a long-time NRA leader who is openly hostile to any efforts to reform the gun industry and has championed attacks against gun companies that have attempted change. She has ties to racist and extremist organizations and leaders that were never disclosed to shareholders until Majority Action brought them to light. Froman and the NRA are clearly a major influence on Sturm Ruger’s decision NOT to follow the lead of other large retailers and banks supporting common-sense gun reforms. But Sturm Ruger has ignored calls from shareholders -- Majority Action members and others -- to account for how this undermines both gun safety and long-term shareholder value.
Sturm Ruger’s annual shareholder meeting is just around the corner, and the company is facing unprecedented calls for boardroom accountability, including from the largest institutional investment adviser on shareholder voting in the US. We can increase the pressure for accountability at Sturm Ruger by calling on major investment funds -- companies like BlackRock and Vanguard, which together own 28% of Sturm Ruger’s stock -- to vote against directors at Sturm Ruger who are responsible for these failures.