Our Company and Sites
March 2, 2018

Information on civilian firearm manufacturer stocks in select iShares ETFs

This note provides facts about which iShares ETFs seek to track indexes that include stocks of civilian firearm manufacturers.

Key points:

    • On March 2, 2018, BlackRock provided more transparency into its approach to companies that manufacture and distribute civilian firearms.
    • View the list of U.S. iShares ETFs with exposure to firearm manufacturers.
    • View the list of U.S. iShares ETFs without exposure to firearm manufacturers.
    • 95% of U.S. iShares ETFs do not hold shares of three American companies whose primary business is firearms manufacturing.


As the largest provider of exchange traded funds, iShares offer investors the broadest choice in portfolio building blocks. (Blackrock, as of 12/31/17; iShares offered 830 ETFs and $1.75 trillion in assets under management globally).

The bulk of the assets managed in iShares ETFs seek to track entire equity markets through indexes, baskets of hundreds and sometimes thousands of stocks. A potential benefit of index investing is diversification: owning many individual companies can help protect investors from sudden swings in a few. iShares ETFs make indexes investable. We offer a wide array of products for all types of investors and we manage our ETFs to track indexes closely.

iShares is transparent about what our ETFs hold and how they can be used in investor portfolios. Our aim is not merely to disclose information but to ensure it is accessible and understood. Every day we publish ETF holdings, and iShares’ mission will always be to improve access and breadth of choice to promote investment progress.

iShares ETF Holdings

For context, 95% of U.S. iShares ETFs do not hold shares of the three publicly traded companies in the U.S. whose primary business is firearms manufacturing: American Outdoor Brands Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. and Vista Outdoor. (BlackRock; MSCI, Feb. 26).

Some index ETFs cast a wide net, while others are less inclusive. For instance, there are no major firearm manufacturers in the S&P 500 Index, and therefore none in our flagship iShares Core S&P 500 ETF (IVV). Broader indexes, by design, do capture firearm makers. The iShares Core S&P Total U.S. Stock Market ETF (ITOT) seeks to track an index of more than 3,100 U.S. companies.

For detailed information on the holdings of all iShares ETFs, including IVV and ITOT, visit iShares.com.

BlackRock’s Approach

We believe we have an obligation to our clients to engage with those companies to promote sustainable business practices that can create long-term value.

We are addressing firearm manufacturers within index portfolios in two ways:

  • Offering our clients a choice of products, some of which explicitly screen out firearm manufacturers.
  • Engaging with firearm manufacturers and retailers in which our clients are invested regarding business policies and practices as we describe further in our latest notice.