Do You Own Part of a Gun Company?

Who’s making a profit from America’s publicly traded gun stocks.

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-68520118/stock-photo-close-up-of-pistol-on-black-background.html?src=tEF_lXa-QlLLFGfh5ETV5g-2-72">Kai Keisuke</a>/Shutterstock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


Read our investigation into America’s 10 biggest gun manufacturers.

As often happens after mass shootings, gun company shares soared on the first day of trading following the Orlando massacre that left at least 49 people dead on June 12. But the frequency and brutality of these attacks could also lead to further divestments from the gun industry.

Following the Newtown massacre, in early 2013 the board of California’s public pension plan announced it would yank its investments in Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger. The $5 million divestment was a symbolic gesture for the $254 billion fund, but it was a reminder that many investors could walk away from their gun stocks without hurting their bottom lines. As California Treasurer Bill Lockyer noted, “There’s only one way that we speak and that’s with money.” Gun stocks could lose their luster for other reasons. In March 2016, New York’s public advocate urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Sturm Ruger for allegedly failing to inform its investors about liability risks stemming from its products.

Here are the holdings of some top institutional and fund investors in publicly traded gun companies:

Vanguard

BlackRock/iShares

  • 7.4% of Smith & Wesson shares valued at $89.4 million
  • 14.6% of Sturm Ruger shares valued at $165.1 million
  • 8.3% of Vista Outdoor shares valued at $225.2 million

The London Company of Virginia

  • 12.1% of Sturm Ruger shares valued at $136.1 million
  • 6.1% of Vista Outdoor shares valued at $165.8 million

Goldman Sachs

  • 7.6% of Vista Outdoor shares valued at $206.3 million

Fidelity Investments

  • 4.4% of Smith & Wesson shares valued at $43.5 million

As of December 2015

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.