Activists trying to unseat Ruger execs
The plan for this year’s gathering, set for May 8 in New Hampshire, promises to renew a debate over how the company might respond to a series of mass shootings across the United States, including at schools, houses of worship and workplaces.
The activists include Majority Action, a liberal-leaning shareholder group, and religious investors affiliated with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility. While they hold a small number of Sturm Ruger shares, last year members of Interfaith Center won backing for a resolution from fund companies including top Ruger shareholders BlackRock Inc and Vanguard Group, showing an ability to set the agenda.
This year the activists said they will call on other investors to vote “withhold” on Sturm Ruger Chairman Michael Jacobi and on company director Sandra Froman, who is also a director of the National Rifle Association and was its president from 2005 to 2007.
Eli Kasargod-Staub, Majority Action’s executive director, said in an interview that Sturm Ruger should take a harder look at “smart gun” technology and hold talks with investors, dialogue it has rejected in the past.
He also said the company should step back from divisive cultural issues promoted by the NRA. Together, the topics “are the kind of issues that can and have been productively engaged on through dialogue with long-term investors at other companies,” he said.
Adam J. McCleod