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

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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

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Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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