Nuns, Investors Win Fight with Smith & Wesson on ‘Gun Safety’ Report

Investors voted Tuesday to force the gun maker to account for its role in “gun violence” in the United States (Photo: Smith & Wesson Facebook)

The anti-gun lobby has shifted its focus since Parkland from the legislatures to the marketplace, and they’ve acquired a new target in their efforts to destroy the financial viability of gun companies: investors.

Top investors in Smith & Wesson’s parent company, American Outdoor Brands (AOB), passed a resolution this week at their annual shareholder’s meeting that forces AOB to publish a report on the company’s role in “gun violence.” Investors want the gun maker to prove that it is adequately addressing the “risks” inherent in its products’ association with gun-related violence and to show evidence the company is exploring ways to reduce this violence by making guns safer.

The efforts were led by a coalition of religious groups organized under The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, and backed by big fund companies like BlackRock and Vanguard, which together own about one-fifth of AOB. Investors pulled a similar stunt earlier this year at Ruger’s annual meeting.

“The majority of guns used in crimes in major U.S. cities are AOBC guns,” said Sister Judy Bryon, who introduced the proposal. “Each event brings new threats of lawsuits, boycotts, divestment and demonstrations — and along with them, a wave of damaging news stories about gun companies and their inability to make their products safer for civilians, and most critically, to help prevent their misuse by children.”

SEE ALSO: David Hogg Threatens to ‘Destroy’ Smith & Wesson If It Doesn’t Donate $5M to Gun Control Research

American Outdoor Brands CEO James Debney called the vote “politically motivated” and said he was “disappointed” the shareholders had taken their fight to the annual meeting rather than work through legislatures, according to CNBC.

The political, rather than strictly financial, nature of the resolution is evident from the gleefulness with which it was celebrated by anti-gun organizations.

“Just one year ago, it was unthinkable that shareholders would demand that gun manufacturers examine their own role in America’s gun violence epidemic,” said Avery Gardiner, the co-president of the Brady Campaign, in a statement on Tuesday. “Now, it’s becoming the norm.”

It’s also worth noting that AOB responded in March to a list of questions submitted by BlackRock. The company’s eight-page letter outlines its involvement in gun safety efforts, its support of the “fix NICS” initiative, its close work with the ATF, its responsible business practices, and its team of lawyers and compliance experts.

SEE ALSO: When it Comes to Guns, Smart is Stupid

The real financial risk, they explain, is not from negative press coverage, but from betraying their customers by supporting gun control policies and initiatives.

“The solution is not to take a politically motivated action that has an adverse impact on our company, our employees, our industry, our shareholders, the economies we support and, significantly, the rights of our law-abiding customers, but results in no increase in public safety,” the letter concludes. “We must collectively have the courage to ensure any actions are guided by data, by facts, and by what will actually make us safer –not by what is easy, expedient, or reads well in a headline.”

Rather than come to an agreement internally, virtue-signaling investors opted for the public resolution at Tuesday’s meeting. AOB is under no legal obligation to adhere to the resolution, and Debney has not publicly committed to commissioning the report.

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • AJ September 29, 2018, 9:27 am

    Why don’t the nuns just push to outlaw murder? Oh wait…. We have been trying since Moses walked the earth. Maybe if they raise the church dues the almighty will step in.

  • James Summers September 28, 2018, 4:39 pm

    If religion wants to get into telling or demanding business do its bidding then take them off the tax exempt status.

    Then they can protest out in the open vice hidden in the shadows.

    Same with churches who condone sex with children and allow priest to have a field day being perverts and allowed to get away with the crime. With priest being reassigned back to Rome, should be a pedophile dream come true. No court is allowed to brother them and they are forgiven and allowed to practice their evil.

    If churches indulge in politics then strip their tax free status and make them pay the piper!

  • John Boutwell September 28, 2018, 1:21 pm

    One could make rock solid case that religions are the cause thousands of deaths per year.

    • MtnMann September 28, 2018, 1:43 pm

      Exposure to a belief system isn’t enough… an individual has to decide in his/her mind to be violent. It is always “something” else that makes people violent? No, it’s the individual making the decision to be violent.

      Quit shifting the blame and start taking personal responsibility for actions. It is easy to blame someone else for all our problems but it is usually the individual trying to dodge personal responsibility.

      • John Boutwell September 28, 2018, 8:07 pm

        Millions have been killed simply by doing what their preacher, priest etc. told them to do. Being raised in that mindset allows killing the “other” to be what god wants. See Christians over the centuries or todays Muslims.

      • AJ September 29, 2018, 9:30 am

        Unfortunately, sheeples have always been too weak minded to think for themselves. Empiric wars have been faught in the name of deities because men of the cloth realize humanities “need” to believe in something. Read ’48 Laws of Power’. It’s like an idiots guide to manipulation.

        • AJ September 29, 2018, 9:31 am

          And yes typos are a thing.. have at it.

    • Jay October 18, 2018, 8:09 am

      Blaming religion for violence is no better than blaming guns for violence. I am not religious myself but my family is and I have known many good and honest priests. The problem isn’t “religion.” It’s two-fold. First, it’s the perverts, homosexuals and child molesters who worm into the churches to wreak their evil. The worst is the efforts of those churches to try and cover their behinds by cover ups instead of hunting down and ferreting out such types publicly. Of course, these days who could out… never mind, wrong ‘forum’ for this topic.

  • Calvin Don Blumhorst September 28, 2018, 1:09 pm

    S&W weathered the assaults of Cuomo and other anti-freedom Democrat-Socialist despots several decades ago. I hope they can do so again. S&W makes too many fine products to fall victim to virtue-signaling SJWs!

  • Fred September 28, 2018, 12:32 pm

    does anyone else believe this a “Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot” situation? what does the Catholic know about reducing “gun violence”? they are clergy, not LEO’s. the investors need to keep their mouth’s shut.. this company is giving them money every quarter in dividends they need to be happy that S&W is pulling a profit as it is. they are getting paid handsomely for their faith in the company and american people and their love for guns and repair parts. I am in the gun industry. I am a gunsmith and the owner of a gun repair and sales facility. I am expanding. I am going to be carrying S&W products. this just lowers my faith in the clergy, and the investors these days.

  • Michael Keim September 28, 2018, 11:06 am

    The Catholic church should clean there own house before they stick their noses in anything else. This is an organization that over the years has protected pedophiles and are still doing it.

  • D.J. September 28, 2018, 10:01 am

    Anyone recall S&W’s semi-submission to the obama demand for
    “safe guns ” , and their contortions to comply ?
    When the least bit of cooperation with Marxism is extended , one
    merely opens the door for neocommunists to kick it in .
    I am an owner of several S&W products ( older ones , mind you ) ,
    and found them to be most serviceable, and reliable , for their
    intended purposes .
    I am sorry for the company , but they clearly allowed this to happen ,
    as they bowed to Stalinist demands .

  • RJL September 28, 2018, 8:46 am

    Anti-constitutionalist’s sense of morality is situational, based on incident and emotion, instead of rooted in God’s word and law.
    Anti-constitutionalist’s stand for nothing. The situation determines their support for an issue and their emotions rule, not reason and rationality.
    Moreover, they recognize the contradiction, but still cling to their situational justice. Situational justice is the tool of dictators, tyrants, despots, and unjust, unrighteous monarchs. It has no place in a free constitutional republic. In which the United States of America is……………….

  • Tim V September 28, 2018, 8:13 am

    I wonder what GMC, Ford, Dodge and the other car manufactures are doing to prevent their products from being used in terrorist attacks such as NYC, and France or being used in driving under the influence. How about Bics part in lung cancer, most people use a lighter to light a cigarette. Where does it stop? Like someone else says the company makes a product that’s it, how people use that product has nothing to do with the manufacturer!

    • AJ September 29, 2018, 9:32 am

      Spoons are the leading cause of obesity… true story

  • Wayne September 28, 2018, 6:11 am

    Smith & Wesson has no role in gun violence! Because one of it’s products is improperly used, or unlawfully used does not give the company a role. I was a law enforcement officer and firearms instructor for 30 years, Smith & Wesson was always my preferred product as it was for most police officers.Why not see what role Smith played in saving lives and enforcing laws?

    • Jay October 18, 2018, 8:26 am

      Why don’t we target makers of “blunt instrument” weapons” The humble baseball bat or hockey stick is high on the list of deadly weapons and a leading instrument in fatal and non-fatal assaults. Shouldn’t they be made softer so people can’t use them to beat others with?
      What about tire irons? If they weren’t so hard, people couldn’t use them in assaults. Their makers should be forced to pay for many of the costs of emergency treatment centers that have to treat the victims of these violent products.
      What about the makers of automobiles driven by drunk drivers, or used as rams to break into peoples homes in home invasions?

      Oh. Wait! Inanimate objects aren’t violent, PEOPLE are violent.
      How do we protect ourselves against violence? With sporting paraphernalia or tire changing tools? No! With self preservation tools- GUNS!

      If so many people are that witless to be so easily mislead and gutless to not stand up and be counted, maybe the should not have any rights. After all, exorcising rights require accepting responsibility. Grrr!!! Enough of this!

  • TRUBRIT September 27, 2018, 3:07 pm

    Maybe it is time for those with Investments to call our Brokers and have them sell any Holdings in Blackrock, etc. Maybe a drop in the Ocean but who knows, if enough people sold stock in these Funds it might get some reaction.

  • Dr Motown September 27, 2018, 9:27 am

    Exactly why I quit the Catholic Church years ago: nothing but leftists and social-justice warriors who live off of other folk’s money. The current Pope is the epitome of their campaign to destroy traditional values

    • Steven September 28, 2018, 4:24 am

      They’re pedophiles, too.

    • Darryl September 28, 2018, 4:25 am

      i agree, stopped going myself as it seemed they were turning their backs on what it meant to be a Catholic. God said men sleeping with men is wrong and girls sleeping with girls is wrong but the church has found away to ok it much as the jews have in Israel. this pope we have now is just so far to the left and going along with that they say anymore it hard to believe. but as it seems most churches are doing now they make an excuse for everything just so they can get money from them.

  • Gary MacNeill September 27, 2018, 8:17 am

    Why would investment companies expose the companies they make money from to this action?. Once again let’s attack the problem from the wrong angle and get no real results. What exactly is this suppossed to fix? The hardware isn’t the problem.

    • Investor with a stake September 28, 2018, 5:03 am

      They don’t care because they earn enough money in other areas they can afford to lose it there. You can thank the 8 years of transferring 93% of the wealth of the nation to the top tiny percent during Obama. If this negatively impacts the holdings all of the other investors should go for a class action lawsuit against the bigots. The only way to take out these would be kings through financial largesse is to hit them where it counts.

  • Justin Opinion September 26, 2018, 7:41 pm

    If these “religious groups” were doing their part, people would be far less inclined to commit murder. But why do your job when you can point fingers. Much easier, and far more profitable.

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