Washington, D.C., September 25, 2018 – Today, shareholders of American Outdoor Brands, the owners of Smith & Wesson, voted in favor of a resolution calling on the company’s Board of Directors to issue a report about what the company is doing regarding gun safety and reducing gun violence. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence applauded the important action and praised the action of gun safety advocates to bring forth the resolution -- the second of its kind ever passed by shareholders of a gun company.
“Just one year ago, it was unthinkable that shareholders would demand that gun manufacturers examine their own role in America’s gun violence epidemic. Now, it’s becoming the norm,” stated Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign. “We were disappointed -- but not surprised -- that Smith & Wesson urged its shareholders to oppose even writing a report about the company and gun safety, but we are delighted that, once again, Americans see the clear importance of acknowledging and acting upon the dangers of gun violence. This vote is proof that the tide is turning, that Americans from all walks of life have had enough of gun violence, and that we all demand the gun industry help stop this uniquely American problem.”
This past May, shareholders at Sturm, Ruger, & Co. passed a similar resolution with 69 percent of the vote. In the months following the massacre in Parkland, FL, where a shooter used an assault weapon to kill 17 students and teachers, the private sector in America has taken unprecedented action to pressure gun manufacturers to act more responsibly and to reduce gun violence.
“With 96 people killed every day in America by gun violence, it is alarming that the gun industry has been so slow to take action to prevent the misuse of its products,” added Brady Campaign co-president Kris Brown. “The activists who made this resolution a reality have done tremendous work to bring this important issue to the forefront, and we fully support their efforts to continue pressuring gun manufacturers to take action to act responsibly and protect American lives.”
Smith & Wesson has acknowledged that gun violence prevention activism has in part led to a 25 percent decline in revenue, with stocks having dropped over the course of 2018. Investors, including the company’s largest shareholder BlackRock Inc., have demanded the company answer for the risk that their products cause and take action to promote gun safety moving forward.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.