NYC public advocate to SEC: Investigate Ruger

A Ruger pistol seized from a crime, namely the Boston Marathon bombing. (Photo: Justice Department)

A Ruger pistol seized from a crime, namely the Boston Marathon bombing. (Photo: Justice Department)

New York’s public advocate has asked financial regulators to probe Sturm, Ruger & Company to see if the gun maker failed to disclose information to investors about any negative consequences its products may have had in communities across the country.

“Gun manufacturers must come clean about the dangers posed by their business and the risks it represents for even their own shareholders,” said Letitia James, the city’s public advocate, in a letter released Tuesday to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

She called on the SEC to investigate whether or not Ruger violated securities law by not informing investors about the frequency its products are connected to crimes; the steps the company has taken to minimize the risk of gun violence; and measures it has taken to avoid distributing to unscrupulous gun dealers.

In her statement, she argues that the company “has a duty to to disclose” the information because Ruger firearms are “among the most frequently traced ‘crime guns’” by federal law enforcement. She lists Ruger as one of the top crime guns recovered in other large cities like Chicago.

For Fiscal Year 2015, Ruger generated $551.9 million in annual revenue with $545 million coming from gun sales, according to required financial filings. Price per share closed Tuesday at a year high of $76.

James has also launched a number of other endeavors to combat gun violence by taking aim at companies and investors. Earlier this month she pressed Walmart over recent gun deaths.

In December she launched an identical effort against Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation, which like Ruger also lists shares on the New York Stock Exchange. Also that month, she threatened TD Bank that New York City would stop business with the company if it did not pull the $300 million tied up in gun companies.

“We can and will use every tool at our disposal to address the devastating impact of gun violence in our country,” she said about the efforts.