BlackRock puts gunmakers on notice after Florida school shooting
The world’s largest asset manager put U.S. gunmakers on notice on Thursday that it is no longer business as usual in the wake of a shooting that killed 17 at a Florida high school. BlackRock Inc said it will speak with weapons manufacturers and distributors “to understand their response” to the second-deadliest shooting at a public school in U.S. history, putting pressure on companies such as Sturm Ruger & Company Inc and American Outdoor Brands Corp. BlackRock is the largest shareholder in both gunmakers and has more than $6 trillion in assets under management. It stopped short of saying it would divest its funds of gun companies, however... BlackRock said it cannot sell shares of a company in an index, given its fiduciary responsibilities. Instead, “We focus on engaging with the company and understanding how they are responding to society’s expectations of them,” BlackRock spokesman Ed Sweeney said in an email... Representatives for American Outdoor Brands and Sturm Ruger did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
New Jersey legislators on Thursday said they plan to introduce bills to bar state pension funds from investing in gun manufacturers.