Warren calls on investors in gun companies to demand change

Warren calls on investors in gun companies to demand change
© Greg Nash

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenFix the flaw in financial self-regulation Power struggle threatens to sink bank legislation Feinstein faces new pressure from left over CIA nominee MORE (D-Mass.) on Tuesday called on nine gun company shareholders to use their positions to demand change in the arms industry following a deadly shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., earlier this month. 

"Your company is in a powerful position. You have reaped significant benefits from your investment in gun manufacturers, but have done little to reduce the violence and murders caused by their products," Warren said in the letters. "I encourage you [to] take action to ensure that the gun companies in which you invest are taking steps to reduce gun violence."

The letter explains how the AR-15 rifle is manufactured by Smith & Wesson, which is a subsidiary of American Outdoor Brands Corporation (AOBC). 

Warren wrote to several companies which hold large stakes in AOBC and gun manufacturers Sturm, Ruger & Co., and Vista Outdoors. 

Warren sent the letters to the heads of BlackRock, Invesco Advisers Inc., Vanguard Group, LSV Asset Management, Dimensional Fund Advisers Inc., Voya Investment Management Co., the London Co. of Virginia, Fidelity Investments and First Eagle Investment Management Co. 

The letter comes nearly two weeks after police say Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire using an AR-15 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others. 

Warren's office cited Blackrock as saying prior to receiving the letter that the company "speaks with weapons manufacturers and distributors ‘to understand their response' " in response to the Parkland shooting. 

The shooting has reignited the gun control debate across the U.S. with many mass shooting survivors and gun control advocates calling for stricter gun regulations.