First, please read the June 2016 article from Mother Jones which describes the ownership of the gun manufacturers who, in turn, direct the agenda of the National Rifle Association. And now for some financial information:
Sturm Ruger and Company — NASDAQ reports the company is 88.79% owned by institutional investors. The top five institutional investors are Black Rock (2,948,467 shares), Vanguard (1,659,697 shares), Capital World Investors (1,490,248), London Company of Virginia (1,355,076 shares), Voya Investment Management (777,224 shares)
Blackrock offers college savings plans, retirement investment plans, factor investing, and ironically “sustainable” investment programs. Vanguard advertises its IRA accounts, retirement savings accounts, and pension plans. Capital World Investors manages equity and mutual funds for its investors. The London Company of Virginia is reported as “The London Company of Virginia, LLC is an employee owned investment manager. The firm primarily provides its services to individuals. It also provide its services high net worth individuals, investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, foundations, State or municipal government entities, and corporations.” Voya Investment Management advertises its mutual funds for its investors. The firm primarily serves insurance companies. [Bloomberg]
American Outdoor Brands (formerly Smith and Wesson) includes Smith & Wesson, Gemtech Suppressors, Crimson Trace, and accessories. It is 74.96% institutionally owned. The top institutional investors are Blackrock (6,012,767), Invesco Ltd (4,858,400), Vanguard (4,508,410), LSV Management (2,148,948), Dimensional Fund Advisors (1,774,780), Voya Investment Management (1,655,896) as of December 31, 2017. [NASDAQ] LSV Management provides investment services to corporate pension and profit sharing plans. [Bloomberg] Dimensional Fund Advisors offers a variety of funds for its investors, most recently noticed for increasing its position in Chevron. [LG]
Remington Outdoor Company is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus advertises its $30 billion under management. [Cerb] The firm recently drew the attention of Bloomberg News in an article by Joe Nocera, “Cerberus, Guns, and the Legacy of Newtown.” [BN 3/14/18] (Highly recommended reading)
“What Cerberus did right, again in a business sense, was market guns, especially the AR-15. Feinberg helped popularize assault weapons, making them a must-have purchase for a certain kind of gun owner.
The first gun company to make an AR-15 was Armalite in the early 1960s, but it took over three decades for the gun to become a major factor in the business. Only when the culture of hunting began to be eclipsed by a more militaristic gun culture did the AR-15 become popular. At least part of this was due to gun advertising, which stressed both militarization and masculinity.
And no company took this advertising as far as Remington Outdoor. In 2010, it began an ad campaign that showed a picture of a Bushmaster XM-15 in a shooting position. The headline read: “Consider Your Man Card Reissued.” Another ad had the headline, “Forces of Opposition, Bow Down,” with a picture of an AR-15. Remington called one of its guns the Remington ACR — for Adaptive Combat Rifle.”
SIG Sauer is a privately held German firm, with SIG Sauer, Inc as its American branch. It’s been most recently in the news for securing a nearly $600 contract with the US Department of Defense to replace the M9 handguns.
Conclusions? It’s a bit unsettling to consider that the pension plan into which a person might be investing in order to avoid being a burden on one’s children, is the same plan investing in the weapons used to lethal effect on those children? Or, that the college savings plan might be tragically unnecessary should a child be killed by one of the products manufactured by the gun industry, supported by mutual fund investment companies?