A top New York City official says regulators must force a major gunmaker to disclose to its shareholders the danger its products pose in hopes investors will pull their funds from the company.
New York Public Advocate Letitia James sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission March 22 asking it to force Sturm, Ruger & Co. to disclose to investors the alleged risks its firearms pose, claiming the Southport, Connecticut, gunmaker had violated securities law and misled investors on how often its products are used in crimes.
“Gun manufacturers must come clean about the dangers posed by their business and the risks it represents for even their own shareholders,” James said in a statement. “As public advocate, I will continue to pursue every possible avenue to hold those gun makers and sellers accountable.”
The letter asks the SEC to make Ruger disclose how many of its firearms are used in criminal activities, what steps the company has taken to make sure its guns don’t end up in criminal hands and what Ruger does to prevent its guns from being distributed to “bad apple gun dealerships.”
A spokesman for Sturm, Ruger & Co. did not respond to a request from Grand View Outdoors for comment.
New York City’s move against Ruger is the latest in a series of attempts by anti-gun groups there to dissuade major investors like pension funds and banks from holding stakes in gun companies. In December, Jones tried to force TD Bank to withdraw its financial backing of Smith & Wesson after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
“As we stare at the financial smoking gun that enables gun violence, inaction is not an option,” James said. “If you want to do business with New York City, you can’t be in bed with companies that manufacture the agents that kill our children and families.”
Last year a prominent New York City church lobbied successfully to get Walmart to pull AR-15 style rifles from its shelves after it sued to force the massive retail chain to allow a shareholder vote on whether the company should sell products that are “especially dangerous to the public [and] pose a substantial risk to company reputation and would reasonably be considered offensive to the community and family values.” While the law suit never went forward, the chain nevertheless said it would not restock ARs and self-defense shotguns it sold off.
Both Ruger and Smith & Wesson continue to dominate the American firearms market, with some figures showing S&W earned $600 million in sales last year, and Ruger’s stock price was on track to be up by 70% in 2015.