Do You Own Part of a Gun Company?

Who’s making a profit from America’s publicly traded gun stocks.

<a href="">Kai Keisuke</a>/Shutterstock

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.

Read our investigation into America’s 10 biggest gun manufacturers.

As often happens after mass shootings, gun company shares soared on the first day of trading following the Orlando massacre that left at least 49 people dead on June 12. But the frequency and brutality of these attacks could also lead to further divestments from the gun industry.

Following the Newtown massacre, in early 2013 the board of California’s public pension plan announced it would yank its investments in Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger. The $5 million divestment was a symbolic gesture for the $254 billion fund, but it was a reminder that many investors could walk away from their gun stocks without hurting their bottom lines. As California Treasurer Bill Lockyer noted, “There’s only one way that we speak and that’s with money.” Gun stocks could lose their luster for other reasons. In March 2016, New York’s public advocate urged the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate Sturm Ruger for allegedly failing to inform its investors about liability risks stemming from its products.

Here are the holdings of some top institutional and fund investors in publicly traded gun companies:



  • 7.4% of Smith & Wesson shares valued at $89.4 million
  • 14.6% of Sturm Ruger shares valued at $165.1 million
  • 8.3% of Vista Outdoor shares valued at $225.2 million

The London Company of Virginia

  • 12.1% of Sturm Ruger shares valued at $136.1 million
  • 6.1% of Vista Outdoor shares valued at $165.8 million

Goldman Sachs

  • 7.6% of Vista Outdoor shares valued at $206.3 million

Fidelity Investments

  • 4.4% of Smith & Wesson shares valued at $43.5 million

As of December 2015


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend