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Shareholders pass measure calling on Sturm Ruger to report on gun safety efforts

A majority of Sturm Ruger & Co. investors, including the $204.9 billion Florida State Board of Administration, Tallahassee, supported a shareholder proposal at the company's annual meeting Wednesday calling on the gun manufacturer to report on its efforts to make guns safer and mitigate gun violence.

A spokeswoman for the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, whose members filed the proposal, confirmed the majority vote.

A Sturm Ruger official could not immediately be reached for further details.

The Florida pension fund, which had approximately $562,000 invested in Sturm Ruger through an internally managed passive account at the end of February, supported the proposal, according to its proxy-voting disclosure. "A more robust discussion of the reputational risks faced by the company on account of gun violence is warranted," the pension fund said in its disclosure.

The Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility said in a news release that Wednesday's vote "was a signal of growing unease amid calls for investors to either engage constructively with gun companies on the topic of gun violence or divest portfolios of gun stocks."

Gun safety proposals filed at Sturm Ruger in 2001 and 2002 were supported by 5.43% and 4.26% of investors, respectively.

In its 2018 proxy statement, Sturm Ruger recommended that shareholders vote against the proposal, arguing that "adequate safety practices and procedures are available."

"Similarly, existing laws, if properly enforced, are sufficient to address the 'public health crisis' of gun violence which, first and foremost, is a law enforcement issue," the company said.