Buried in Wednesday’s New York Times report about a push by so-called “gun safety advocates” to force Sturm Ruger to adopt policies that might be described as “kinder and gentler” was a remark by Ruger CEO Chris Killoy that is making gun owners smile.
Quoted by the Times, Killoy bluntly stated that the company will not “adopt misguided principles by groups that do not own guns and do not understand guns.”
This all stems from an effort by what the newspaper called “a coalition of religious women and health care networks” to force the company to “detail its plans to monitor violence associated with their guns and develop safer products.” Other papers are also covering the story.
Gun control activists never seem to define precisely what “safer products” might be; perhaps firearms that don’t actually shoot. Ruger has historically endeavored to build safe firearms that function exactly as they are designed and intended to do. Last year, for example, the company recalled some .22-caliber semi-auto pistols for a safety device upgrade when some individual pistols reportedly malfunctioned.
According to the Times article, the advocacy group includes the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary of Marylhurst, Ore. and Catholic Health Initiatives, which bought shares of Ruger stock and other companies. Among their goals is to “hold gun manufacturers accountable for the safety of their products.”
This group convinced other shareholders at the meeting to “produce a report by February that addresses how it tracks violence associated with its firearms, what kind of research it is conducting related to so-called smart gun technology (such as using thumbprint readers, like those used on smartphones) and its assessment of the risks that gun-related crimes pose to the company’s reputation and finances,” the Times reported.
In an email exchange with Ruger, CFL received a copy of the company’s statement about this and it is direct:
“Please understand that Ruger was obligated by applicable law to include a shareholder’s activist resolution with its proxy materials for a shareholder vote. With its passage, the proposal requires Ruger to prepare a report. That’s it. A report. What the proposal does not do . . . and cannot do . . . is force us to change our business, which is lawful and constitutionally protected. What it does not do . . . and cannot do . . . is force us to adopt misguided principles created by groups who do not own guns, know nothing about our business, and frankly would rather see us out of business.
“As our CEO explained, ‘we are Americans who work together to produce rugged, reliable, innovative and affordable firearms for responsible citizens. We are staunch supporters of the Second Amendment not because we make firearms, but because we cherish the rights conferred by it. We understand the importance of those rights and, as importantly, recognize that allowing our constitutionally protected freedoms to be eroded for the sake of political expediency is the wrong approach for our Company, for our industry, for our customers, and for our country. We are arms makers for responsible citizens and I want to assure our long-term shareholders and loyal customers that we have no intention of changing that.’”
Ruger officials are concerned that the mainstream media’s spin on this story is that the shareholder vote is a win for the gun control lobby. One newspaper did headline its story “Nuns win Ruger shareholder vote.”
On social media, gun activists have suggested that if the nuns want to track crime, they should read the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
Another effort, to prevent reappointment of former National Rifle Association President Sandra Froman to Ruger’s Board of Directors, failed.