Every gun owner needs to give American Outdoor Brands’ CEO and Board Chairman a big shout out for defending themselves and legal gun ownership. AOB owns Smith & Wesson and numerous outdoor brands. BlackRock, the largest asset manager in the world, decided they needed to climb aboard the gun-hater train this week. BlackRock’s head of global portfolio determined that BlackRock should get behind the astroturfing the Left is pushing hard since Parkland. Surprise, surprise, this person is a New Zealander (where citizens can’t legally have guns) living in Manhattan (where citizens can’t legally have guns).
Kudos to AOB’s James Debney, CEO, and Chairman Barry Monheit for pushing back hard. They explained that their responsibility is to all shareholders, not just whiny blue staters. If you know them, please pass along our thanks.
BlackRock, which owns 11% of AOB and is the company’s largest shareholder, sent questions to AOB regarding the company’s position in the aftermath of the Parkland, Florida, shooting. AOB defended its safety practices and those law-abiding citizens who own firearms. They said that while they, “share the nation’s grief over the incomprehensible and senseless loss of life,” they would not take decisions that would be detrimental to AOB, its employees, the firearms industry, shareholders and economies it supports. AOB also warned BlackRock against taking a purely politically motivated stance.
Typically, weapons manufacturers are silent after a national tragedy, but AOB’s statement detailed the strict regulations it must follow. In addition, AOB also detailed how it assists federal, state and local law enforcement regarding investigations concerning stolen guns. Good for AOB for refusing to be bullied.
AOB does not sell directly to consumers, but instead has 15 distributors and four large retailers, each in possession of a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
The company also backed consumers who purchase firearms legally and supports several safety initiatives in conjunction with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). Those include: Project Childsafe, Don’t Lie for the Other Guy, Suicide Prevention, Operation Secure Store, Own It? Respect It. Secure It. and firearm safety literature and videos. We should all call BlackRock and ask them if they support these important gun safety programs. We think we know the answer.
In addition, AOB has given away millions of firearm safety locks, which are included in the packaging of every firearm they produce. AOB also supports fixing the National Criminal Instant Background Check System (NCIS), but stressed it must be fixed before Congress “even considers whether to expand background checks.”
To read AOB’s response, visit http://ir.aob.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=90977&p=irol-investorHome and click on “Response of American Outdoor Brands Corporation to the Questions Raised in BlackRock’s Letter dated March, 1, 2018.”