U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Sturm Ruger shareholders voted Wednesday to require the gun makers board of directors to create a report “on the company's activities related to gun safety measures and the mitigation of harm associated with gun products,” according to internal Sturm Ruger documents.
The board of directors must provide “evidence of monitoring of violent events” that are associated with the sale of their firearms along with methods of producing safer guns. The report must also address the companies “reputational and financial risks related to gun violence in the U.S.”
Colleen Scanlon, senior vice president and chief advocacy officer for Catholic Health Initiatives, pushed for the study. Catholic Health Initiatives is a major shareholder in American Outdoor Brands which is the parent company of Sturm Ruger.
“We as shareholders are saying that gun violence is significant enough that you, as a gun company, need to address what your responsibility to gun safety is,” Scanlon told CNNMoney.
Catholic Health Initiatives along with 11 other religious organizations that own stock in Sturm Ruger drafted the proposal. The board of directors and the CEO, Christopher Killoy, of Sturm Ruger were not happy with the proposal suggesting that the shareholders were not acting in the best interest of the company, but he stated that Sturm Ruger would fulfill the request.
“The proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report, that's it, a report,” Killoy told the shareholders at their annual meeting. “The shareholders have spoken, and we will follow through on our obligation to prepare that report in due course.”
“What the proposal does not and cannot do is to force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected,” he said.
Killoy went as far as claiming the proposal was the work of the anti-gun lobby that wants to shut down the gun industry. He was worried about the backlash that the study would have on Sturm Ruger.
“What [the report] 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,” Killoy told the shareholder at the meeting. “The proposal also cannot change what Ruger is about and what we stand for.”
Scanlon also would like to see Sturm Ruger focus on smart gun technology. She spoke about the gunshot wounds that hospitals treat in the Catholic Health Initiatives network. She believes smart gun technology would cut down on criminals getting guns although she did not address how new technology would be used to prevent criminals from getting gun.
Critics of the smart gun technology argue that it is cost prohibitive and doesn't work. They say that a malfunction at a critical time could cost innocent lives instead of saving them.
This study isn't the first time Sturm Ruger found itself on the anti-gun side of the debate. Back in 1989 Ruger pushed for a federal magazine size limit. The company at the time was under the control of Bill Ruger.
“The best way to address the firepower concern is therefore not to try to outlaw or license many millions of older and perfectly legitimate firearms (which would be a licensing effort of staggering proportions) but to prohibit the possession of high capacity magazines,” Bill Ruger said in a letter to Congress. “By a simple, complete and unequivocal ban on large capacity magazines, all the difficulty of defining ‘assault rifle' and ‘semi-automatic rifles' is eliminated. The large capacity magazine itself, separate or attached to the firearm, becomes the prohibited item. A single amendment to Federal firearms laws could effectively implement these objectives.“
Bill Ruger left the company in 2000 and died in 2002. This time it looks like it is more of the shareholders using their power to push forward an anti-gun agenda than the company itself. The Catholic Health Initiatives and the other groups seem to be acting as a fifth column within the share holder's group.
About John Crump
John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.