Billionaire Money Managers Pressure Gun Industry to Follow Five New Principles

The CIO from CALSTRS pension fund calling on the firearms industry to be more responsible.  (Photo: CNBC)

Billionaire money managers and pension funds are pressuring the firearms industry to adhere to new gun safety principles.

The investors (see complete list below) who collectively manage more than $4.8 trillion (that’s “T” as in Trillion) released the five “Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry Principles” on Wednesday, saying in a statement that they “are meant to be sensible and not intended to be prescriptive in nature.”

Sounds good until you get to the part of the letter which states that those gun companies who fail to “publicly demonstrate and publish their compliance with each of these principles” will face apparent consequences as the signatories will “consider using all tools available to us as investors to mitigate these risks.”

Meaning what exactly? Probably that if you don’t fall in line they’ll cut ties. We’ve seen similar tactics recently in the banking industry. Citigroup and Bank of America have adopted anti-gun policies designed to put the hurt on gun owners and gun companies.

BoA, for example, announced that it would stop lending money to AR manufacturers. Citigroup said it would no longer do business with companies that sell bump stocks and “high capacity” magazines while also prohibiting its clients from selling firearms to any adult under the age of 21.

SEE ALSO: Bank of America: ‘Full Stop’ on Lending Money to AR Makers

We’ve seen faith-based investors pull similar stunts in 2018. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, in conjunction with investment firms like BlackRock and Vanguard, bullied Smith & Wesson and Ruger this year into putting together reports on the companies’ role in “gun violence” and what they’re doing to address the “risks” associated with their products.

Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry Principles

  • Principle 1: Manufacturers should support, advance and integrate the development of technology designed to make civilian firearms safer, more secure, and easier to trace.
  • Principle 2: Manufacturers should adopt and follow responsible business practices that establish and enforce responsible dealer standards and promote training and education programs for owners designed around firearms safety.
  • Principle 3: Civilian firearms distributors, dealers, and retailers should establish, promote, and follow best practices to ensure that no firearm is sold without a completed background check in order to prevent sales to persons prohibited from buying firearms or those too dangerous to possess firearms.
  • Principle 4: Civilian firearms distributors, dealers, and retailers should educate and train their employees to better recognize and effectively monitor irregularities at the point of sale, to record all firearm sales, to audit firearms inventory on a regular basis, and to proactively assist law enforcement.
  • Principle 5: Participants in the civilian firearms industry should work collaboratively, communicate, and engage with the signatories of these Principles to design, adopt, and disclose measures and metrics demonstrating both best practices and their commitment to promoting these Principles.

Gun-rights advocate Alan Gottlieb sees this latest effort as nothing more than a thinly-veiled attack on the 2A.

“American firearms manufacturers, distributors and dealers are already extremely responsible,” said Gottlieb, the founder of the Second Amendment Foundation in an email to GunsAmerica.

“The groups and individuals behind this scheme are not friends of private gun ownership. They want to open a new front in the attack on Second Amendment rights,” he added.

Signatories include (as of November 14, 2018):

  • California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)
  • California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS)
  • Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds
  • Florida State Board of Administration
  • Maine Public Employees Retirement System
  • Maryland State Retirement and Pension System
  • Nuveen, the asset manager of TIAA
  • OIP Investment Trust
  • Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund
  • Rockefeller Asset Management
  • San Francisco Employees’ Retirement System
  • State Street Global Advisors
  • Wespath Investment Management

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • Willie-O May 22, 2019, 7:59 am

    I will NEVER give up, but in my humble opinion all is lost. If one takes everything into account, this country has been “liberalized” to the point of no return. It’s like losing control of your car (or truck) on wet pavement – no matter how hard you press that brake-pedal or which direction you turn that steering-wheel, nothing happens. You haven’t hit that telephone pole yet, but short of divine intervention, nothing can prevent it. The basic math is as follows: there are about 80 million baby-boomers and 46 million gen-xer’s. The majority of your conservative, pro2A types fall into these 2 groups. Now consider that there are 78 million millenials and vastly larger numbers behind them, which is where the shift in ideology occurs. Consider this – approximately half of millenials favor socialism over capitalism and we currently have Dimocraps running for president in 2020 that are openly socialist. We obviously know where they stand on the 2A. These are generalizations of course and there are certainly exceptions, but the math indicates a guaranteed outcome: as the number of “Baby-Boomers” and “Gen-X’ers” (my group) declines, all things “progressive” (liberal) become a reality. It simply can’t be stopped. The bright side ? We all check-out, so hopefully we can hold off the libtards and their ideology long enough so as to witness the total decline that is inevitable.

    • Willie-O May 22, 2019, 7:59 am

      *** … as NOT to witness…..

  • Jorge Rankovich November 17, 2018, 10:30 am

    Maybe they should concentrate on having retirement funds available upon retirement of their members. These SJW\’s in business trying to force their collective stupidity on the public need to be rounded up and collectively horse-whipped.

  • Kurt November 16, 2018, 8:48 pm

    This is what BlackRock forced on AOB/Smith & Wesson at the last shareholders’ meeting. If you don’t like this happening, then you need to be aware of who is involved and put pressure on either your company rep who is dealing with them or move your money away from them. They are using *your* money to drive their agenda.

  • Mr.Bubblegum November 16, 2018, 12:50 pm

    Principles? I don’t see any principles.
    I see RULES that advance the “people control” agenda.

  • AJ November 16, 2018, 11:23 am

    Ok this is literally just a “to look good on paper/CYOA” thing…

    All of these “principles are already followed…

    There is training available, the serial number can be traced back to point of original sale, best practices and background checks are already mandatory.

    Eat it

  • tim November 16, 2018, 10:21 am

    All left wing employee union retirement funds. Maybe they should be more interested in trying to fund their grossly under funded retirement plans.

    • Winston November 16, 2018, 11:06 am

      Corporate USA is anti-civilian firearm ownership and pro-globalist. There are no ‘conservative’ entities in the mix. It is time people wake up to the reality that Conservatism, Inc. embodied in the East Coast media’s Limbaugh, FOX News and ‘Talk Radio’ is a myth.

      • Chauvin Emmons July 8, 2019, 7:00 am

        Psychobabble for? I just burped that up and it fellout of my piehole
        WTF was your point Fox news owned by Austrians not americans run by Murdoch’s Flakey fruitloop kid has no clue but make lots of stupid decisions causeing chaos in company fox never was in any way conservative lost most hard left ninnies to Cnn like they need more dead weight limbaugh and talk radio independant spot on reporting opinions also dead on target.
        You either had a random circular reasoning brain fart
        Or a Torrets outburst during an attempted drive by conspiracy babble blurb.

    • Chauvin Emmons July 8, 2019, 7:32 am

      Gun control in any shape or form hysterical or the usual reasonable solution excuse offered by a common sense do-gooder most often responsible for unconstitutional overreach on the thinnest excuse ever it’s just common sense.
      Claiming to be a gun owner an NRA member with common sense being very uncommon the NRA no friend to any gun owner or the Constitution after Robert Corbins departure I find it highly suspicious Im calling out bullhoky on a lame attempt at infiltrating with reasonable soloution jumbo mumbo.
      Gotcha snowflake…

  • WWKIII November 16, 2018, 8:27 am

    I’m guessing that most of these “principles” are already in place to some degree. As a lifetime gun owner and gun lover, I don’t find these “principles” particularly threatening. I’d like to see gun owners stop being so hysterical about any form of gun control and try to be part of a reasonable solution. I’m also a lifetime member of the NRA – I am disappointed in the knee jerk response of NRA leadership to any criticism. The NRA’s positions seem to be always combative. How about extending a hand to address gun issues? What a novel idea.

    • Mike Ross November 16, 2018, 9:49 am

      Yes, these principles are already in effect, that isn’t what is so objectionable. It’s that a group of businessmen are blackmailing the gun industry. They’re saying they will attempt to destroy any business that doesn’t meet their standards. If your thinking they represent private corporations and can set their own rules, that’s not how the left sees it. They think if you’re open for business you have to serve everyone, no matter what. Let’s adopt their tactics.

    • NIH November 16, 2018, 10:04 am

      You sound just like killary Clinton. ” what does it matter if they are dead”

  • Sepp W November 15, 2018, 7:16 pm

    “Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry Principles?” According to whom? Did anyone ask the thousands of responsible firearms owners if they agree/support?

    I wasn’t asked.

  • LHTwist November 15, 2018, 2:02 pm

    This means that the investment industry is ripe for a new presence to step up and start accepting the business of those firms and individuals who refuse to be blackmailed into compliance by liberal millionaires.

  • ronald davis November 15, 2018, 1:29 pm

    so wheres the part about free enterprise? free markets? it seems to be about control, obvious to me is that if you could make an AR, you could make a lifesaving medical device with the same tooling.

  • Kevin Cote November 15, 2018, 1:11 pm

    Shall not be infringed

    Arrest these bastards for TREASON.

    Take their wealth, assets and throw their families out of this nation.

    When the rich start calling for disarmament its time to do away with them. And make no mistake, thats the end game here.
    Every man and woman and child has an unalienable inalienable right from our Creator to self defense.
    No man has the moral authority over another .
    We cannot commit treason against our employees, power cannot exceed its authority and all power comes from the people.

    These are part of our founding and Biblical principles . How is tnis so difficult to understand ?

  • Ed November 15, 2018, 12:48 pm

    Seems to me the best response is a letter from NSSF explaining that all these things are already done by the industry and suggesting where the real problems are.

  • SuperG November 15, 2018, 11:12 am

    Strong-arm business tactics. Plus, the only story recently of someone not following the NICS laws, turned out to be the U.S. Air Farce.

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