Democratic Financier George Soros Invested In Firearm Companies While Backing Gun Control Groups
Advocates for divesting from the firearms industry got a boost from Wall Street titan George Soros last week. The billionaire investor is in a strong position to make such a call: He’s one of the leading financiers of the gun control movement, and the fund he leads recently owned a piece of the firearms industry.
On Thursday, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Soros expressed interest in the divestment idea. Asked by International Business Times if investors who support gun control should sell their holdings in firearms companies, Soros responded: “I’m very much against guns. And if it can be organized on a large enough scale, I wouldn’t be opposed to it.”
Securities and Exchange Commission filings reviewed by IBT show Soros Fund Management as a top institutional shareholder in Vista Outdoors — considered the country’s top ammunition manufacturer — and Olin Corp., which makes ammo under the Winchester name. Soros Fund Management purchased a stake in Vista in early 2015 and possessed $11.4 million worth of shares in the company at the end of September, the most recent time the firm reported its holdings. Soros’ firm appears to have bought $5.2 million worth of Olin shares between July and September.
He is not alone among Democratic Party supporters in investing in the firearms industry. Many of the biggest Wall Street donors to President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton — who have both called for stricter gun regulations — are among the largest institutional investors in guns and ammunition manufacturers. While the American Federation of Teachers, a key part of the Democratic electoral coalition, has backed gun control proposals, some of the pension savings of its members may be invested in the firearms industry. For example, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System — which has divested from assault weapons manufacturers — owned $7 million worth of shares in Vista and Olin as of September.