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Some of Wall Street's heaviest hitters are stepping into the national debate on guns as investment firms ask firearms-makers what they are doing about gun violence.In this context, the investment fund BlackRock, which owns big stakes in three different gun makers, might end up working alongside a group of nuns.Following the killing of 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, funds like BlackRock started asking gun manufacturers what they are doing to reduce the risks of gun violence and asking retailers how much they make from selling guns.It says that by remaining an investor, it's been able to get those companies to make positive changes.BlackRock is a major shareholder in gun-makers Sturm Ruger, American Outdoor Brands and Vista Outdoor Brands.The fund said it is looking into creating new investment funds for investors that exclude firearms-makers and retailers, and if many funds and investors followed suit, that would affect the price of those stocks.According to Todd Rosenbluth, CFRA's director of research into funds and exchange-traded funds, that means BlackRock and Vanguard don't have that much leverage compared to activist investors or hedge funds.
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