Shareholders of gunmaker Sturm Ruger voted Wednesday for the company to prepare a report on the human rights impact of its business, following a series of recent deadly mass shootings in the United States.
The manufacturer’s annual meeting approved a proposal by members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, which are also shareholders of Sturm Ruger, that calls for a human rights impact assessment, the ICCR said in a statement.
“Proponents successfully made the case to their fellow shareholders that gunmakers could not abdicate their roles and responsibilities in helping to stem the carnage perpetrated with the products they sell to the public,” ICCR said.
Sturm Ruger, founded in 1949, did not immediately confirm to AFP the outcome of the vote.
The gun manufacturer had called for members to oppose the proposal, which is non-binding.
The vote came eight days after a gunman massacred 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and less than three weeks after a racially motivated shooting that left 10 people dead in an African-American community in Buffalo, New York.
Hours after the vote Wednesday yet another gunman opened fire: this time at a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where he killed at least four people. Police said that gunman was also killed, but details were still emerging late Wednesday.
The guns involved in the Uvalde and Buffalo attacks, both semi-automatic AR-15-style rifles, were not produced by Sturm Ruger.
But the company is one of the few publicly traded gun manufacturers in the United States, along with Smith & Wesson, and as such is publicly accountable.
The resolution calls for Sturm Ruger’s board of directors to commission a third party to write an assessment and recommendation report on the human rights impact of its decisions, practices and products.
“In selling its firearms to civilians, Ruger assumes they will be used safely, and while that is mainly the case, the grave threat for product misuse and resulting harm to society is not accounted for in Ruger’s governance structures or in policies or practices that would mitigate this threat,” the text of the resolution says.
The company, for its part, assures it has already taken initiatives to make firearms safer, and that the resolution is simply a way for its advocates “to advance the gun control agenda they have been unable to achieve through legislative and other means.” (AFP)