How Much Money Do YOU Have Invested in Assault Weapons?

The bloody weekend has left all of us shaken and angry. Clearly, our political system has failed to protect our citizens at the most basic level. We are being terrorized by an armed group of zealots who are supported by an economic system of gun and ammunition sales. I hear people in the news shouting at their representatives, “Do something!” Well, here is what you can do right now.

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Anyone with a workplace retirement account may be profiting from the sales of guns and ammo. It is a choice that we make — many of us not even aware that we have made it. If you are one of 91 million Americans who have a 401(k) plan, you can easily find out if you own stock in companies that make handguns, assault rifles, and ammunition, and use that information to move your money.

Here are some facts to get you started:

  • Vanguard funds have $593 million invested in gun manufacturers, including assault rifles

  • iShares from Blackrock has $481 million invested in gun makers 

  • Fidelity has $562 million

  • State Street has $92 million

To see more, you can go to this page and click on your fund family (we track more than 100).

Think of the mutual funds that you own in your retirement account as baskets of stocks; some have 500 companies, others 3,000, and some just a few. Go to our free and publicly available tool, Gun Free Funds and type the ticker or fund name into the search bar. One click takes you to a page that shows you exactly how many gun companies you own. 

Check out all of the funds your company offers you. Find the few that have the least weapon companies then shift your money to those funds. If every fund that you are offered are brimming with armaments then talk to your 401k manager and let them know that you can’t find any investments aligned with your values. Talk to other employees, they probably feel the same way.

If you do not want to profit from the sale of assault weapons and ammo then stop. You have the tools. You have the choice. If we all do this then the people who decide what companies are in these funds will see the money moving away and will respond by selling those holdings. The weapon companies will find that no one wants to invest in them and their ability to raise money will collapse, the executives stock options will become worthless, and their power will diminish. And, the problem isn’t just gun manufacturers. Walmart is one of the largest sellers of guns and ammunition in the world, and even its own employees are protesting the company’s commitment to continue selling firearms.

If you want to know if you are invested in military weapons, cluster munitions, landmines, and nuclear weapons visit Weapon Free Funds.

We all have a choice. If you are as incensed with the impotence of our political system to protect our families, then stop profiting from the sale of arms and move your money into companies that are aligned with your values. 

As You Sow’s has six Invest Your Values tools, including Gender Equality Funds, Fossil Free Funds, Deforestation Free Funds, Tobacco Free Funds, Weapon Free Funds, and Gun Free Funds.

*All data from Gun Free Funds as of August 15 2019

Andrew Behar