Today, BlackRock, a global funds management firm, holds its shareholder meeting in New York. BlackRock holds a 17% stake in Sturm, Ruger, the nation’s largest gun manufacturer.
Sturm, Ruger made the AR-556 assault weapon which killed 26 people in the Sutherland Springs church massacre and has among the most aggressive stances against gun violence prevention of any weapons company. It was recently bound by shareholder action to report on the violence committed with the guns it makes, to which Sturm, Ruger President and Board Member Chris Killoy replied “what the proposal does not and cannot do is to force us to change our business.”
Sturm, Ruger’s board includes Sandra Froman, a past president of the NRA and current NRA Board Member. Froman formerly worked to promote the views of William Shockley, a physicist who perpetuated theories that whites are genetically superior to other races.
BlackRock voted to confirm the entire board, made up of Froman, Killoy and seven other exclusively white men.
This blatant disregard for shareholder will and basic humanity is emblematic of the gun and financial industries’ combined efforts to value profit over lives.
Communities of color, especially women of color, suffer disproportionately from gun violence. The “leadership” of Sturm, Ruger and the NRA shows not only a disregard for this racist outcome, but in fact has actively promoted theories which perpetuate it.
Since 2015, Sturm, Ruger has paid the NRA at least $11 Million.
BlackRock and other financial institutions which own Sturm, Ruger are guilty of allowing this deadly racism and gross neglect to continue. If BlackRock wanted to show it valued lives over money - especially the lives of people of color - it would have done so last week and voted to replace the Sturm, Ruger board. It did not.
The American financial industry is killing Americans. We demand better.
The NoRA Coalition
American Federation of Teachers
Art Not War
Campaign to Unload
Gregory A. Cendana
The Democratic Coalition
Drain The NRA
Dr. Dena Grayson
Harvey J. Kaye
National School Walkout
Newtown Action Alliance
Randi Mayem Singer
The Sparrow Project
States United to Prevent Gun Violence
#NoRA is a diverse, non-partisan coalition of activists, artist, celebrities, and policy experts dedicated to combating the influence of the NRA in American politics. Formed in February 2018, it is the product of nearly 100 activist partners and organizations. Partner organizations include Blue Future, The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus, Community Justice Reform Coalition, Countable, Design Studio for Social Intervention, Drain The NRA, Every Voice Center, Guns Down America, Hollaback!, Newtown Action Alliance, Rock the Vote, Spread the Vote, Sunshine Sachs, and TaskForce