frequently asked questions

  • What is Unload Your 401K?

    UnloadYour401K.com is a resource for individuals who want to learn if their retirement funds may currently be invested in gunmakers and how to take steps toward a "guns-free 401k." It is a project of the Campaign to Unload and States United to Prevent Gun Violence, two nonprofit groups committed to reducing gun violence in America.

  • Unload Your 401k shows that my employer's investment firm has owned gun stocks. Does that mean I have them in my 401k?

    If a specific mutual fund that you've decided to include in your 401k owns gun stocks, it's very likely—though not certain—that you do, too. However, a single investment firm may have dozens of mutual funds: even if the firm owns gun stocks, it's possible that your funds are still gun-free. The best way to find out is to call your investment firm to discuss it with your financial advisor.

  • Unload Your 401k shows no record that my employer's investment firm has owned gun stocks. Does that mean my 401k is officially "gun-free?"

    Although it's a good sign, it's unfortunately not a guarantee. The best way to find out is to call your investment firm to discuss it with your financial advisor. If your advisor can confirm that your funds don't own any gun stocks, take the opportunity to express your approval—and your expectation that your account will remain gun-free.

  • If my employer's investment firm has owned gun stocks, will they really help me go "gun free?"

    Most firms try to employ smart, understanding people who are trained to help you reach your investment goals. In fact, they're required by law to invest your money in a manner that's suitable for your situation. It's up to you to let them know that gun stocks are something you want to avoid—and it's up to them to do the best they can to make that happen.

  • Why is it so hard to figure out what's in my 401k?

    Pinning down exactly what is in your 401k is tough for several reasons. Funds may change their holdings frequently, and not report the changes publicly for months. The same fund may even come in a different version for your 401k plan, with small differences in which stocks they own. The best, most up-to-date information will come from your financial advisor at the investment firm that manages your 401k.

  • I have a pension fund, not a 401k. Do I have a voice?

    Although this site only provides information on mutual funds, pension funds may own stakes in gun companies as well. Since individual pension recipients don't directly own the assets that fund their pensions, you don't have as much influence on investment decisions. But you have every right to contact your financial advisor, pension administrator, or union representatives for more information—and to express how important it is to you that your retirement not be tied to gun-related investments.

  • Can a "gun-free 401k" be a smart investment decision?

    Just like any other stocks, there is no way to know whether gun stocks will rise or fall. What we do know is that every investor who decides to sell a company's shares helps put that company's stock under pressure. As pressure grows, it can force an entire industry to reconsider how it does business.

  • Can divestment really change public policy?

    History says "yes." Because funding is the lifeblood of business, divestment campaigns have been essential components in some of the most successful changes in public policy of the past thirty years. These include changes in U.S. tobacco policy and the end of Apartheid in South Africa.

  • How could divestment affect gun policy in America?

    As the public outcry over gun violence continues to escalate, investors are beginning to rethink the financial and moral implications of owning the stocks of gunmakers who refuse to make even modest changes to make our society safer. At the same time, many investors may not even realize that they own such companies through their mutual funds, retirement accounts, ETFs or other products. As investors of all kinds become more informed of the risks involved, the potential for widespread divestment will grow—and with it, the pressure on the industry to change.

  • What data sources does this Website rely on?

    Search engine financial data was provided by FactSet Research Systems Inc. on February 14, 2014.

    Ycharts created the tracking chart seen on the video.

    Without them, this website would not be possible.

  • What else can I do to divest from guns?

    to stay involved with Unload Your 401k.

Is your 401k retirement plan invested in public gun companies?

Most people don’t realize it, but inside many of our 401k retirement portfolios are three public gun companies. Find out if they’re in yours and learn what you can do to begin taking them out.

Current 401k / gun violence statistics

mutual fund
dollars invested
in 3 american public
gun companies

0

*BASED ON DATA FROM FEBRUARY 2014

how much
of this
is yours?

number of americans that have a 401k

Over 51 million

gun violence deaths and injuries since columbine

20
kidsday

are admitted to hospitals with gunshot wounds

under 20 years of age based on Data from 2009

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

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Monday

in 2010, gun violence cost the united states

Billion $