Smith & Wesson Shareholders Shut Down Activist Investors

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A group of nuns, among others, have been a pain in the butt for companies like Smith & Wesson for a while. After all, they’re investors who actively despise firearms. They’re activist investors. They put their money into the company with the intention of making it difficult for them to conduct business as they have.

Their explicit goal is to change how these companies do business. They want to push gun companies to adopt policies that they claim will reduce guns in criminal hands.

Which is hilarious because we know that criminals aren’t buying guns through lawful means. They’re damn sure not buying them directly from the manufacturer.

Still, they persist. And Smith & Wesson just told them to pound sand.

Smith & Wesson shareholders did not pass a resolution sponsored by Catholic nuns and others that would have forced the gunmaker to develop a human rights policy.

The resolution brought by Adrian Dominican Sisters, as well as 14 other Catholic religious communities and Catholic health care groups, called on the company to mitigate the risk to human rights posed by the sale of firearms to civilians.

“We have never attempted to conceal our deep concern about the devastating toll of gun violence in our communities, nor the fact that we are proponents of gun safety including a tightening of regulations that would prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands,” said sister Judy Byron of the Adrian Dominican Sisters in her statement to shareholders. “The majority of us are people of faith, some of us school teachers and health professionals. I expect that you are as troubled as we are when another gun violence event occurs, particularly one involving a Smith & Wesson firearm. Our advocacy on gun safety has been characterized by S&W management as a ruse whose real intention is to put the company out of business and to abolish the second amendment. We have always said this is not our agenda. Again, we seek to make the business, the products and the consumers who buy them, safer. We seek – as everyone here must surely do – to save lives.

Smith & Wesson’s annual meeting and shareholder vote was Monday. The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said only that the referendum did not pass. Smith & Wesson has not yet released a vote count.

“The shareholder proposal did not pass, which we believe reflects the clear understanding by the majority of our shareholders that the Proponent’s demands were disingenuous, politically motivated, and were not in the best interests of our company. In spite of the Proponents implications to the contrary, we have worked tirelessly for decades with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the BATFE on a multitude of programs that have tangible real world impacts on preventing firearms from being misused or obtained by those with malintent, and educating retailers and citizens on compliance with existing laws and the safe and legal sale, use, and storage of our products. We are committed to continuing these fruitful partnerships and look forward to increasing the transparency of our work in these areas for our shareholders,” said company spokesman Matt Spafford.

Oh, that’s just glorious.

See, while the good sister may claim they don’t want to end the Second Amendment, they clearly do. Remember, it says “shall not be infringed.” Their efforts are little more than an attempt to infringe. Even if people can still purchase firearms, the more heavily restricted they are, the less the Second Amendment actually means.

And they want nothing more than to make the Second Amendment meaningless.

Of course, the company is right about not just the activist investors’ agenda but also that manufacturers already do plenty to try and mitigate the possibility of firearms ending up in the wrong hands. They should also note that while you can go on Smith & Wesson’s website and buy a gun, you can’t take possession of it without it first routing through an FFL holder who will run a NICS check.

People aren’t getting their guns in this way, and I’m quite tired of people pretending they do.

Then again, these activist investors aren’t really up on how bad guys get firearms in the first place. They know what the media has told them, what the anti-Second Amendment groups have told them, and what the voices in their own heads have told them and are busy running with that instead of looking and seeing the truth.

Honestly, if they wanted to keep guns out of criminal hands, why not use the money they invested in these companies to provide gun safes to people so their firearms won’t be stolen–gun locks don’t prevent that, after all.

Then again, that would mean doing more than showing up at a meeting once per year and making an ass of yourself, so that kills any interest they might have in doing that.