Mutual funds are baskets of stocks bundled together, sometimes hundreds or thousands of companies. They are some of the most popular investment products for retirement plans, because owning so many company stocks at once helps diversify investment risk. But unless you're a financial professional, it can be difficult to find out just what companies are inside the funds you're invested in. That's where we come in. We examine every holding in thousands of funds to determine if there are investments in gun stocks.
Some funds actively choose to invest responsibly, by considering environmental or social issues when choosing companies to invest in. If you're thinking about weapon free investing, socially responsible funds can be a good place to start, because they often deliberately avoid companies that make civilian firearms. We feature nearly a hundred socially responsible funds in our database.
Sustainable investing can offer competitive returns
While people may become interested in responsible investing because of personal values and goals, that doesn't mean they're not looking for a competitive financial return on their investments. Fortunately, the evidence is clear: sustainable and responsible investors do not have to pay more to align their investments with their values, or to avoid companies with poor environmental, social or governance practices. The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment has collected the research.
Finding a fund
Gun Free Funds sources financial data on equities and mutual funds from Morningstar. Our database contains information on thousands of U.S. open-end and exchange traded mutual funds, some of the most common funds held in 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other retirement plans.
Search for mutual funds using name, ticker symbol, or asset manager. Use the search page to filter funds by investing style, fund family, and more. When you find a fund you're looking for, click on it to see the full results.
We don't have everything in our database — we only screen mutual funds that own direct stock investments, and can only display up to 3,000. Looking for your favorite fund and can’t find it? With more resources, we could include more funds — make a gift today to make a difference.
Screening a fund
For each mutual fund in our database, we examine every holding and determine if it is a stock issued by a gun manufacturer or a gun retailer.
We only look for direct stock holdings in gun companies. That means that holdings that are not stocks, like corporate bonds, are not analyzed. In the fund's investment profile, we show a "Percent Rated" metric, equivalent to the percent of the fund that is invested in stocks. The higher a fund’s Percent Rated value, the more holdings we were able to examine. A fund with a lower Percent Rated value may have hidden gun-related investments that our tool cannot account for, in the form of bond holdings or other asset types.
If a fund holds stock in a gun company
We use two different gun company categories, grouped into two screens.
We calculate the fund's gun grade
Mutual funds can have a varying number of holdings, from less than one hundred to several thousand. We calculate the total number of flagged holdings in the fund, and the total amount and percentage of the fund’s assets that are invested in those companies.
Based on what companies a fund owns, it is assigned one of five civilian firearm grades.
These thresholds reflect the distribution of results across funds, placing an approximately equal number of funds from the analysis universe in the C, D, and F grade ranges.
If a fund has direct stock investments in gun manufacturers or major gun retailers, you'll see a chart like this, showing the overall exposure.
Next to the chart, you'll see the exposure breakdown for each of the gun categories.
If you click a category that a fund has exposure to, you'll see the breakdown of the individual companies in that category that the fund owns.
We track sustainable funds
We use Morningstar's "sustainability mandate" indicator to determine which funds are displayed as socially responsible. Funds with sustainability mandates often make investment decisions based on issues like environmental responsibility, human rights, or religious views. A socially responsible fund may take a proactive stance by selectively investing in, for example, environmentally-friendly companies, or firms with good employee relations. They may also avoid investing in companies involved in promoting alcohol, tobacco, or firearms, or in the defense industry. Look for this symbol to find funds that are designated socially responsible.
The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment is a group advancing sustainable, responsible, and impact investing. Asset managers who are members of US-SIF often have policies to exclude or restrict investments in companies involved in the production, licensing, and/or retailing of civilian firearms. Look for this symbol to find funds that are members of US-SIF.
Gun free action toolkit
When you're done looking up funds and finding the data you need, what's next? You can learn how to make a change and move your money with our gun free action toolkit. Whether you’re an individual investor or if your investments are in your employer-sponsored plan at work, our step-by-step toolkit can help. There's an in-depth guide to responsible investing, links to external resources, a sample letter to send to your employer 401(k) manager, and more — everything you need to make a change and get started investing your money gun free.