March 2, 2024
Smith & Wessons M&P15 SPORT II OR 30 ROUNDS
Smith & Wessons M&P15 SPORT II OR 30 ROUNDS

According to Fox News, a group of anti-gun stockholders of Smith & Wesson are planning on suing the company for selling the popular M&P-15 rifle that is based on the popular AR-15.

The shareholders are a part of the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) movement. The ESG movement pushes companies to be “socially conscious” and put leftist values ahead of profits. One of the pillars of the ESG movement is gun control.

The plaintiffs in the yet-to-be-filed case claim that Smith & Wesson “knowingly allowed the Company to become exposed to significant liability for intentionally violating federal, state, and local laws through its manufacturing, marketing, and sales of AR-15 style rifles and similar semiautomatic firearms.” The company has not broken any laws and is legally allowed to produce modern sporting rifles such as the AR-15. The lawsuit even acknowledges that Smith & Wesson has analyzed its potential legal liabilities. Still, it claims that the company can be held “liable for breaching their fiduciary duties” for selling semiautomatic rifles.

The plaintiffs also claim that Smith & Wesson has exposed the company to unnecessary liability. They claim the company’s board of directors has turned a blind eye to possible liabilities and failed its fiduciary duties to shareholders. The plaintiffs claim that the board showed an “unwillingness to exercise any oversight whatsoever” over the production and marketing of semiautomatic rifles.

Two of the plaintiffs, including the Adrian Dominican Sisters, are taking marching orders from Sister Judy Byron, a well-known anti-gun activist and Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) member. The ICCR is a mainstay in the ESG movement and pushes for far-leftist ideas to outweigh profits for companies. The ICCR recently issued an anti-gun statement that Sister Byron helped pen.

The ICCR blames the National Rifle Association (NRA) for stalling anti-gun legislation in Washington and believes that shareholders should use their power to force companies to voluntarily enact gun control, including halting manufacturing of AR-15s and other semiautomatic firearms.

“While we believe that sensible gun control legislation and enforcement is needed to help halt the wave of senseless gun tragedies, progress has been stalled at the federal level in large part due to an aggressive NRA lobby,” the ICCR statement said.

“Corporations, therefore, have an important role to play both to ensure that they are not indirectly complicit in these lethal events, and in advancing the solutions that may help prevent them,” the statement continues. “While the business case for companies to reduce their exposure to this issue is clear, the moral case for action grows more urgent each day. We therefore ask companies to carefully reflect on how their operations, business relationships, supply chain policies, marketing practices and public voices might be used to counter gun violence and foster safer communities.”

Some think that Sister Byron is using the money from the Adrian Dominican Sisters to push her anti-gun ideas. In 2018, while speaking about the Margie Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland, FL, she vowed to change the system. With this lawsuit and her past actions, it appears she is using the Adrian Dominican Sisters’ shares to try to do just that.

“When I say that I’ve always been interested in social justice, it isn’t just to know about it and be aware of it, but to bring about change and bring about justice,” Sister Byron told NBC after the shooting. “We’re looking to change the system.”

Although the lawsuit does involve current shareholders, the vast majority of Smith & Wesson’s investors stand against the demands of the ICCR members. The ESG anti-gun activists have put up proposals in the past at shareholders meetings to demand the company stop selling products, including the M&P-15 Sport. These attempts have failed, with over 73% of investors rejecting the calls to action.


About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss, or at www.crumpy.com.

John Crump

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