New York Public Advocate Letitia James sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission to probe whether the gun maker Sturm, Ruger & Company (NYSE: RGR) has failed to disclose material information that would allow its shareholders to assess the risk environment in which the company operates.
"We will not sit idly by as thousands of Americans continue to lose their lives to gun violence each and every year," James said in a statement. "Gun manufacturers must come clean about the dangers posed by their business and the risks it represents for even their own shareholders."
According to the press release, this is the second such complaint filed by James as the debate about the costs of gun violence and the responsibility of gun manufacturers intensifies.
The 11-page letter sent by James to the Enforcement Division of the SEC asserts that the company has a duty to disclose the following material information:
- Information about the usage of the company's firearms in connection with criminal activity.
- What steps the company has taken to minimize the risk that the company's firearms will be used in crimes and mass shooting events.
- Whether the company has put in place measures that prevent its firearms from being distributed to "bad apple" gun dealerships.
Sturm, Ruger is one of the largest gun makers in the country and its weapons are consistently among the most frequently traced "crime guns" or guns used in crimes that are traced by the ATF. Recently, two plainclothes NYPD officers were shot by a suspect using a Ruger handgun.
James is getting support from a group: New Yorkers Against Gun Violence (NYAGV).
"We fully support Public Advocate James's call for the SEC to investigate Sturm, Ruger's business practices," said Leah Gunn Barrett, Executive Director of NYAGV. "We know that on far too many occasions, Ruger's lethal products have ended up in criminal hands. In fact, the illegal firearm market is supplied almost entirely by just 5% of licensed dealers.
Manufacturers like Sturm, Ruger know who these dealers are or could easily find out. Sturm, Ruger should be required to document the integrity of their supply chain so their products aren't diverted into dangerous hands by dishonest dealers, and so that they no longer profit from the sale of guns flowing to the illegal market."
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