A group of activist Catholic nuns, who are shareholders of Smith & Wesson, have filed a lawsuit against the company, seeking to stop the manufacture of AR-15-style rifles.
The lawsuit claims that the company’s leadership has exposed shareholders to potential liability by violating laws and failing to respond to lawsuits over mass shootings.
The nuns, along with their legal team, are alleging that the company is prioritizing short-term profit over long-term risk. (Trending: Elon Musk Condemns Arrest Of Jan 6 Protester)
The lawsuit is a derivative complaint, allowing shareholders to sue company boards for failing to fulfill their duties.
“These rifles have no purpose other than mass murder,” their statement read.
“[C]courts generally find boards are protected from lawsuits for good-faith decisions,” the Post noted.
“Much like the pharmaceutical companies being hammered by civil judgments and fines after enjoying years of profits from the sale of dangerous opioids, Smith & Wesson’s Board willfully ignores the potentially ruinous exposure the Company faces from its marketing and sale of weapons designed specifically for mass killing,” said attorney Jeffrey Norton.
“We are proud to partner with these congregations of Catholic Sisters who have long sought corporate responsibility through their shareholder activism.”
“The congregations of Catholic Sisters who, as stockholders, joined in filing the derivative complaint against Smith & Wesson officers and directors are: Adrian Dominican Sisters (Adrian, Michigan), Sisters of Bon Secours USA (Marriottsville, Maryland), Sisters of St. Francis of Philadelphia (Aston, Pennsylvania), and Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus & Mary, U.S.-Ontario Province (Marylhurst, Oregon),” the attorney’s news release read.
The company’s CEO has dismissed the lawsuit as frivolous, while the nuns argue for a return to the company’s earlier practices of responsible gun ownership.
“This frivolous lawsuit is simply another instance in their long history of attempting to hijack and abuse the shareholder advocacy process to harm our reputation and company,” CEO and president Mark Smith said.