A “Gun Safety 2018—Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc.” proposal spearheaded by the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of Marylhurst, OR, passed on May 9 during the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The Wall Street Journal reports the nuns got in the habit of buying the company’s stock two years ago, along with shares of American Outdoor Brands, to “pressure executives for change.” By the time the meeting was held the nuns, guns and mutual funds group had amassed the minimum number of shares to force the measure’s consideration. Ruger’s Board of Directors had recommended against the move.
It requires, among other things, that by Feb. 8 the company produce a document detailing how the firm monitors any misuse of its products. Information on research into safer guns and reputation/financial risk of its products are also mandated in the document [Page 23 of the PDF].
The Ruger response was fast. It reads in part, “Please understand that Ruger was obligated by applicable law to include a shareholder’s activist resolution with its proxy materials for a shareholder vote. With its passage, the proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That’s it. A report. What the proposal does not do…and cannot do…is force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it 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. As our CEO explained, ‘we are Americans who work together to produce rugged, reliable, innovative and affordable firearms for responsible citizens. We are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment not because we make firearms, but because we cherish the rights conferred by it. We understand the importance of those rights and, as importantly, recognize that allowing our constitutionally protected freedoms to be eroded for the sake of political expediency is the wrong approach for our Company, for our industry, for our customers, and for our country. We are arms makers for responsible citizens and I want to assure our long-term shareholders and loyal customers that we have no intention of changing that.’”
Nuns, Guns and Mutual Funds Team
The Sisters of the Holy Names, founded originally in 1843 Quebec, Canada, consists of several branches, including the financial activists in Oregon that explains on its website, “As vowed religious and associates, we minister with a deep longing for a new creation, a passion for the reign of God’s justice to be among us.”