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Investors urge companies to cut ties with NRA

Investors urge companies to cut ties with NRA
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Nearly 150 professional investors and faith groups are demanding that companies linked to the gun industry take action to prevent gun violence, including by cutting ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA). 

A statement led by the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility on Thursday called for companies "to carefully reflect on how their operations, business relationships, supply chain policies, marketing practices and public voices might be used to counter gun violence and foster safer communities."

Dozens of religious groups and asset management firms signed onto the statement. The organizations oversee $634 billion in investor assets, CNBC reported.

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The statement calls for all companies to end commercial and promotional relationships with the NRA, and to consider moving company events “to states with responsible gun legislation and that promote public safety.”

The groups are asking gun retailers to stop selling assault weapons, and to ban the sale of guns and ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.

Firearm manufacturers are also asked to stop producing assault weapons and to support universal background checks for all gun and ammunition sales.

And the statement calls for financial institutions to stop lending to gun manufacturers that produce assault weapons and that don’t promote universal background checks.

“As shareholders concerned about the social impacts of our investments we believe it is incumbent on all corporate actors to use their power and influence to contribute to the well-being of the communities where they operate and, more broadly, to society as a whole,” the statement reads.

“The dangers presented by gun violence threaten the lives of our children, our communities and the very fabric of our society. In the coming months we will be engaging with companies we own to urge immediate and positive action that addresses gun violence.”

The statement is the latest corporate action in the wake of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school that left 17 people dead last month. Several retailers, including Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods, placed restrictions on gun sales after the shooting.

And progressive activists are turning to investors to also take action on firearms. Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenWarren and Sanders question Amazon CEO over Whole Foods anti-union video Senate Dems ask Trump to disclose financial ties to Saudi Arabia Republicans should prepare for Nancy Pelosi to wield the gavel MORE (D-Mass.) has also called on investors in gun companies to demand change in the firearm industry.