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BlackRock poses tough questions to gunmakers and sellers

Asset manager BlackRock Inc... is pressing gunmakers and weapons retailers in its portfolios to explain how they monitor firearm sales and use, and it is studying the creation of new index-based portfolios of stocks that would exclude gunmakers and retailers. The moves by BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager with more than $6 trillion under management, amount to the most detailed critical stance by a big financial firm after last month’s deadly high school shooting in Florida. “As it has for many people, the recent tragedy in Florida has driven home for BlackRock the terrible toll from gun violence in America. We believe that this event requires response and action from a wide range of entities across both the public and private sectors,” BlackRock said in a note to clients posted on its website.

...In its client note, BlackRock said its questions to gunmakers would include whether they require retailers to certify they do background checks and whether they require distributors to disclose regulatory warnings. BlackRock also said it will ask gunmakers whether they monitor if their distributors and retailers "have a high volume of their guns identified as having been used in crimes.”... For retailers, BlackRock said it is asking questions such as what strategies they use to prevent the potential misuse of guns, such as limits on bulk purchases... A representative for American Funds parent Capital Group said via e-mail... that the firm is“engaging with gun manufacturers to understand their plans to ensure the safe use of these products.” [also refers to American Outdoor Brands Corp, Bank of America, State Street Corp & Sturm Ruger & Co]

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