The Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment supports the work of the ICCR member group asking gun manufacturers, retailers, and companies with financial ties to the industry to take action to address the root causes of gun violence in the United States. The CRI and many individual members signed onto ICCR’s Investor Statement on Gun Violence released on March 29, 2018. An excerpt of the statement can be found below and a full list of signatories is available here.
“In light of continuing gun violence and mass shootings in the U.S. involving semi-automatic assault weapons, the undersigned investors representing $634 billion in assets are calling on gun manufacturers, retailers and distributors, as well as companies with financial ties to these industries, to review their operations, supply chains and policies and take meaningful action on this public safety concern.
As we reel from the latest mass shooting in Parkland, Florida where 17 students and teachers lost their lives at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, we are mindful of the sobering statistics detailing the gun violence epidemic in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 33,000 people die each year in firearm-related deaths in the U.S. On an average day, 96 Americans are killed by guns, including seven children and teens. Meanwhile, the racial justice implications of gun violence are especially pronounced as black men are 13 times more likely than white men to be shot and killed with guns.
Gun violence in the U.S. is both a public health and human rights crisis with extraordinary and escalating human and economic costs. A Johns Hopkins University study revealed the annual cost of care for victims of gun violence is an average of $2.8 billion in emergency-room and inpatient charges alone; when lost wages are factored in, the financial burden rises to $45 billion annually.
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. 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. 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.”
CRI Member Statements on Gun Violence:
Franciscan Sisters of Allegany Corporate Stance
Statement on Gun Control Legislation by the Dominican Sisters in Committed Collaboration (OPSCC)
Examples of companies making positive commitments to address the corporate influence on gun violence:
Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, and Kroger each raised the age restriction for the purchase of guns in their stores to 21 years of age, among other individual commitments. Citi is instituting a new U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy. Several additional companies have ended ties with the NRA.
The role of ICCR members in influencing corporations to take action:
Dick’s Sporting Goods decided on assault-rifle ban after student protests and a meeting with nuns
Episcopal Church, Catholic nuns advocated for Dick’s gun policy