STURM, RUGER & COMPANY, INC. | Material Marketing Risks at STURM, RUGER & COMPANY, INC.

26.52% votes in favour
AGM date
Previous AGM date
Resolution details
Company ticker
Resolution ask
Report on or disclose
ESG theme
  • Social
ESG sub-theme
  • Conflict and/or violence
Type of vote
Shareholder proposal
Filer type
Company sector
Consumer Discretionary
Company HQ country
United States
Resolved clause
Resolved: Shareholders of Sturm Ruger & Co., Inc. (“Ruger”) request that the Board of Directors issue a report, at reasonable expense and excluding proprietary information, assessing whether Ruger’s advertising and marketing practices may pose financial and/or reputational risks sufficient to have material impacts on the company’s finances and operations due to levels of gun violence.1
Supporting statement
Legislative, media, and public scrutiny around the connection between the marketing of firearms, particularly to young men, and episodes of gun violence are increasing in frequency. The Atlantic recently reported on an “emerging tactical (firearm) market” and a trend in advertising that “reduced the social stigma...for edgy marketing of military-style rifles,” saying that “bad firearms marketing has given us a national nightmare.”2
According to Tufts School of Medicine’s Michael Siegel, who studies the intersection of firearms, marketing, and public health, firearms manufacturers "can heavily influence gun culture through their advertising and marketing practices." The industry's marketing "influences a range of aspects of gun culture, including the perceived purpose or uses of guns; the images, symbols, values and identity that is associated with gun ownership; and of course the demographic makeup of the gun-owning population."3
While firearms manufacturers have found immunity from liability under the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, they lose protection if "[a]n action in which a manufacturer or seller of a qualified product knowingly violated a State or Federal statute applicable to the sale or marketing of the product, if the violation was a proximate cause of the harm for which relief is sought.”4 Recent examples of firearms company actual and potential liability include:

Remington settled for $73 million with families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting, who argued that the company’s marketing violated Connecticut consumer law;5

Victims of the Highland Park (IL) parade massacre sued Smith & Wesson for “illegally targeting its ads at young men at risk of committing mass violence;”6 and

Families of the Uvalde school massacre victims sued Daniel Defense for “aggressive marketing tactics that recklessly endanger children.”7
In July 2022, the House Oversight Committee held a hearing with gun manufacturers including our Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Christopher Killoy, on the Practices and Profits of Gun Manufacturers, “seeking information on their sale and marketing of AR-15-style semi-automatic rifles and similar firearms.”8 
Ahead of the hearing, the Committee released evidence that gun manufacturers “used disturbing sales tactics—including marketing deadly weapons as a way for young men to prove their manliness.”8
Upon Committee questioning about Ruger’s monitoring of violent events associated with its products, Killoy admitted that Ruger learns of them “through its ‘customer service department,’ the media or from occasional lawsuits.”9
Shareholders believe an assessment of Ruger’s marketing and advertising practices can help ensure that they are not contributing to a culture of gun violence and thereby increasing risks to our company.
1 s/ar-AAYdwvA4 84277 20for%20the%207-27-2022%20FC%20Gun%20Manufacturer%20Hearing.pdf9 el-says.html

DISCLAIMER: By including a shareholder resolution or management proposal in this database, neither the PRI nor the sponsor of the resolution or proposal is seeking authority to act as proxy for any shareholder; shareholders should vote their proxies in accordance with their own policies and requirements.

Any voting recommendations set forth in the descriptions of the resolutions and management proposals included in this database are made by the sponsors of those resolutions and proposals, and do not represent the views of the PRI.

Information on the shareholder resolutions, management proposals and votes in this database have been obtained from sources that are believed to be reliable, but the PRI does not represent that it is accurate, complete, or up-to-date, including information relating to resolutions and management proposals, other signatories’ vote pre-declarations (including voting rationales), or the current status of a resolution or proposal. You should consult companies’ proxy statements for complete information on all matters to be voted on at a meeting.