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October 5, 2021, New York, New York – Fifteen members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) drew support from 43.9% of the shareholders of Smith & Wesson for a proposal that the gun manufacturer adopt a comprehensive human rights policy in light of rising gun violence in the United States.
The Adrian Dominican Sisters, represented by Sister Judy Byron, OP, were the primary filers of the proposal. Fourteen faith-based organizations from ICCR co-filed.
In a press release, ICCR noted that this amount of support from shareholders – compared to 39% support for a similar proposal in 2019 – “demonstrates shareholders’ mounting concern with the company’s lack of attention to the growing risks of gun violence.” The proposal calls on Smith & Wesson to include in the policy “a description of the processes the company will use to identify, assess, prevent, and mitigate adverse human rights impacts.”
“Undisputedly, something must be done about the misuse of guns in our country,” Sister Judy said in her September 27, 2021, Shareholder Statement. “As a leading firearms manufacturer we genuinely believe Smith & Wesson has the knowledge and the expertise to engineer the solutions we need to reduce gun violence and save lives.”
A consultant to the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ Portfolio Advisory Board, Sister Judy went on to note that the intention of the proposal is not to put Smith & Wesson out of business or to abolish the Second Amendment. “We seek to make the business, the products, and the consumers who buy them, safer,” she said. “We seek – as everyone here must surely do – to save lives.”
October 8, 2019, Washington, D.C. – The Friday, September 27, 2019, segment of National Public Radio’s Finance Fridays featured Sister Judy Byron, OP, and her efforts to work with gun manufacturers to stem gun violence. Sister Judy and other members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), through shareholder resolutions and dialogue, worked with American Outdoor Brands – parent company of gun manufacturers Smith and Wesson – and with Sturm, Ruger, and Company to be more transparent in outlining their gun safety strategies. To listen to the Finance Fridays segment, hosted by Mary Childs and Cardiff Garcia, including interviews with Sister Judy, click on the arrow in the blue bar at the top of the article.