Shareholders on Wednesday voted to require Sturm Ruger to complete a report on the reputational and financial risks posed to the company by gun violence.
By February 2019, Sturm Ruger must produce an assessment on how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances.
Ruger’s CEO, Christopher Killoy, said at the company’s annual meeting on Wednesday that the company will comply and prepare the report, while also downplaying any report’s impact.
“This proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report,” Killoy told shareholders, according to the New York Times. “That’s it, a report. It cannot force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected.”
The proposal was submitted in January by 11 members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, a shareholder advocacy organization that included health care networks and several groups of nuns. The company said in a public filing that “the intentional, criminal misuse of firearms is beyond our control.”
The nuns had on their side the two most important shareholder advisory firms in the country: Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) and Glass Lewis. The companies assess corporate governance and long-term risk and advise investors in publicly traded companies on how to vote on proposals at shareholder meetings. In separate memos, both ISS and Glass Lewis endorsed the motion submitted by the nuns. Both advisory companies pointed to the recent bankruptcy proceedings of Remington as a cautionary example.
The meeting was seen as the first major test this year for faith-based shareholder groups, which have been urging the nation’s gun industry to act after recent extreme examples of gun violence.