Sturm Ruger & Co. is a publicly traded company. As such, it is beholden to its shareholders — to a certain extent.
Recently, several Wall Street fat cats and faith groups financially tied to Ruger demanded that the popular gun maker put together a report on “the company’s activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products.”
Ruger CEO Christopher Killoy announced Wednesday at the company’s annual meeting that he would, indeed, produce the report. But that’s it.
“The proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report, that’s it, a report,” said Killoy at the meeting in Prescott, Arizona. “The shareholders have spoken and we will follow through on our obligation to prepare that report in due course.”
“What the proposal does not and cannot do is to force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected,” he said.
Colleen Scanlon led the effort to request the gun safety report. Scanlon is the senior vice president and chief advocacy officer for Catholic Health Initiatives. She got support from several partners including BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager. BlackRock owns 2.8 million shares of Ruger, more than any other investor or investment group.
SEE ALSO: No Changes to What Ruger Makes and Sells to Law Abiding Citizens, Despite Shareholder Proposal
“We as shareholders are saying that gun violence is significant enough that you, as a gun company, need to address what your responsibility to gun safety is,” said Scanlon to CNNMoney.
Scanlon would like Ruger to focus on smart gun technology.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see them leading an effort about making a smarter gun, like fingerprint activated guns and tracking systems for finding lost or stolen guns, like with iPhones?” she said. “We know that gun owners are responsible and sensible people, but we know that guns can end up in the wrong hands.”
Spoken like someone who’s never owned or shot a firearm in their life, who’s never examined the true causes of gun violence and who, frankly, couldn’t tell the difference between a smart gun and a stapler. Anyway, Killoy had a not-too-thinly-veiled rebuttal to the wishful thinking of the peanut gallery.
“What [the report] does not do and cannot do is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups, who do not own guns, know nothing about our business and frankly would rather see us out of business,” said Killoy. “The proposal also cannot change what Ruger is about and what we stand for.”