May 23rd, 2018
We took you at your word when you said that BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, was going to use its power to take action on guns.
We trusted you.
You are the largest owner of Sturm Ruger, the largest gun manufacturer in the country. As you’ve reminded us all, you hold the stock as an index fund manager, so you can’t simply sell your shares. Instead, you’ve been telling the world how BlackRock isn’t afraid to use its power to vote against company directors when they are short-sighted and irresponsible.
You had the opportunity to use that voting power to take a real stand for gun safety and long-term sustainability. And with our country’s gun policies being held hostage by extremists, you even had the chance to vote against a leader from the National Rifle Association.
And you failed to do so.
Sturm Ruger publicly rejected taking any responsibility for improving gun safety. Sturm Ruger defiantly refused to meet with investors asking the company to monitor violence associated with its products.
You voted to re-elect Sturm Ruger’s entire board of directors anyway.
Sturm Ruger donates millions of dollars to the NRA and mobilizes its customers to join and donate to the NRA as well. Instead of investing in safer gun technology, Sturm Ruger has run public campaigns that mix promoting gun sales with NRA-style scare tactics about common-sense gun policy reforms.
Still, you voted in favor of the entire board of directors.
One Sturm Ruger director, Sandra Froman, is an NRA Executive Council member and former President. She publicly championed the NRA’s campaign against Smith and Wesson in retaliation for adopting gun safety reforms, which nearly bankrupted the company. She secretly helped elevate the voices of white supremacists, anti LGBTQ extremists, and conspiracy theorists as leader in the Council for National Policy. She spent years of her life advancing racist pseudoscience with the disgraced bigot Professor William Shockley.
You knew all of this. And you voted for her anyway.
Apparently, to BlackRock, none of that disqualifies someone from leading a company that makes dangerous weapons that kill thousands of Americans every year.
BlackRock has power because millions of Americans trust you with their retirement savings. Their college savings. Their hopes and dreams for themselves and their families. And in the wake of the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, you asked us to trust you to hold gun manufacturers accountable.
You broke that trust.
ABOUT Majority Action
Majority Action is a community of everyday people who believe that shareholders play a critical role in holding corporations accountable to high standards of corporate governance and social responsibility. Many of us are investors, trying to build a secure retirement, save for a home, or provide for our kids’ education. Standing together, we use our investments to demand the future we deserve. Others of us are not active investors but believe in the importance of corporate accountability. Together, we help to ensure that our investments, and our voices, lead to a better world for our communities and our future.