Activist investors cast doubt on Smith & Wesson donations to gun lobby
By Christen Smith
A Smith & Wesson sign below a giant American flag at SHOT Show 2017 in Las Vegas. (Photo: Daniel Terrill/Guns.com)
An activist group of investors said last week Smith & Wesson’s explanation for writing off $1.5 million in donations to gun rights lobbyists raises more questions than it answers.
Majority Action filed regulatory documents with the Securities and Exchange Commission Wednesday, criticizing the gun maker’s defense as “insufficient” and “impossible to reconcile” with reality after top executives said unreported contributions to the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation didn’t break any disclosure laws.
American Outdoor Brands, the gun maker’s parent company, said in regulatory filings earlier this month the money never supported political projects for either group. Guns.com reached out to AOBC last week for comment, but never received any response.
“AOBC’s conclusory explanation for the above omissions — that the payments were tax deductible and not made for political purposes — is difficult to square with publicly-available information about the NRA-ILA and NSSF, their activities during the 2016 election cycle, and the regulations governing the deductibility of payments to tax-exempt organizations that engage in political activity,” Majority Action’s Sept. 19 filing concluded.
The group’s filing also castes further doubt on Mitchell