Money Manager to Discuss Shootings with Gun Makers

The world's largest asset manager plans to speak with gun makers amid outrage over the Florida school shooting last week.

BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) officials said they want to reach out to the companies "to understand their response" to the shootings.

The firm indirectly owns shares in the companies through the many exchange-traded funds under BlackRock's iShares umbrella. The funds track indexes such as the S&P 500 and various sector indexes as well.

BlackRock is by far the leader in the $3.4-trillion ETF space, with nearly $1.4 trillion U.S. under management, the firm theoretically could exert some pressure on the index providers to remove the gun makers from their listings. In total, the firm manages $6.28 trillion.

Company spokesman Ed Sweeney said BlackRock has heard from investors who don't want their money tied into weapons manufacturers.

Shares of companies such as American Outdoor Brands (NASDAQ: AOBC) and Sturm Ruger (NYSE: RGR) rose Thursday after the White House said President Donald Trump was open to multiple gun control measures but does not want to "ban an entire class of firearms."