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These nuns buy stock in gun companies to fight for gun safety – ANITH
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These nuns buy stock in gun companies to fight for gun safety

These nuns buy stock in gun companies to fight for gun safety

Image: Shutterstock / LOGVINYUK YULIIA

These nuns are fighting guns with guns. Sort of. 

The Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, a collective of about a dozen nun associations, invests in companies so they can then use their shareholder status to sway the companies into supporting human rights issues. 

Issues have ranged from climate change to indigenous rights, but in the last few years, the nuns have shifted their focus to gun control, specifically investing in gun manufacturers because they are the “only group that isn’t involved in the issue.” 

“When we have a tragedy, everyone says something,” Sister Judy Byron, director of the Northwest Coalition for Responsible Investment, told CTV News. “Even the NRA, but not the gun manufacturers.”

Calling gun violence “both a human rights issue and a health issue,” Byron said the organization has been pushing manufacturers to file resolutions that detail two key steps: how their company will make gun products safer, and how they plan on keeping their products from “perpetuating violence.” 

The Sisters have shares in Sturm Ruger & Co. and American Outdoor Brands, companies that produce the kind of semi-automatic rifles used in both the Vegas and Parkland shootings. In May, their coalition successfully rallied other shareholders into pressuring Sturm Ruger to release public reports on the number of times their products have been linked to a mass shooting. 

And thanks to the Sisters’ influence, Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling assault-style weapons after 17 children were killed in the Parkland shooting. The retailer also updated its gun policy, and only sells firearms to customers over 21. 

The nuns are also using their clout against American Outdoor Brands. At the end of September, the gun manufacturer’s shareholders will vote on a resolution to limit gun violence. 

“The gun industry is saying they’re not going to change,” Sister Byron told the Seattle Times after getting Sturm Ruger to adopt the resolution. “This shows they’re going to have to.” 

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Anith Gopal
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