BOSTON (Reuters) - Gunmaker Sturm Ruger & Co (RGR.N) directors faced little opposition at its recent board election, a securities filing showed on Monday, despite its policy of not talking with shareholders even in the midst of a national debate over gun control.
Additionally, a proposal calling for Ruger to produce a report on the safety of its products was supported by 7.2 million votes, with 3.3 million votes cast “against.”
All nine of Ruger’s candidates won more than 10 million votes “for” a one-year board term at its annual meeting on May 9, the filing showed. The highest number of votes “withheld” from any director was 425,763.
Ruger’s proxy showed BlackRock with 2.9 million shares of Ruger’s common stock, just under 17 percent, as of March 15, and Vanguard with 1.7 million shares, or 9.5 percent, meaning neither could have withheld all support from the directors.
BlackRock and Vanguard declined to state how they voted.
Both fund managers were among major financial firms that had said they would speak with weapons companies about the safety of their products after the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 dead. BlackRock has also made plans to offer gun-free investment strategies.
Ruger’s meeting had been seen as an early test of how far the investment firms would push their concerns.
Chief Executive Christopher Killoy declined to meet with gun safety activists at the meeting, saying the company does not meet even with major investors BlackRock or Vanguard.
Ruger had said the directors were elected and the shareholder proposal passed but it had not provided