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Activist Investing Has Come for Fossil Fuels. What About Guns?

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The message after a mass shooting, this time at a Texas elementary school, was clear: People who want to curb gun violence should “cast their vote in November.” That was how Senator Chuck Schumer, the Senate majority leader and Democrat of New York, put it on Wednesday.But not everyone will have to wait until then. On June 1, when the shareholders of the Connecticut-based gun maker Sturm Ruger log in to the company’s virtual annual meeting, they can vote on a shareholder proposal that states because of “the inherent lethality of firearms,” Ruger must hire an outside firm to study its impact on human rights, “above and beyond legal and regulatory matters.”The human rights study is an unlikely crusade at Ruger, similar to an effort at Smith & Wesson, another rare publicly traded gun company in a largely privately owned and opaqu …

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