Axios Feb 24
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We’re all gun owners, and here’s why

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios 

"For many Florida teachers, it’s an indignity on top of tragedy. Inside their retirement plans, they hold stock in the companies that make the AR-15 rifle," Reshma Kapadia writes in the "Streetwise" column of Barron's:

  • "The $163 billion Florida Retirement Pension Plan had a $4 million stake in gun manufacturers as of Dec. 31. Nearly half of that comes from a low-cost index fund that tracks the broad-based Russell 3000."
  • "Indexing giants Vanguard and BlackRock are the largest investors in the three major publicly traded gun makers. BlackRock owns 11% of American Outdoor Brands, formerly Smith & Wesson ... Together, BlackRock and Vanguard own 26% of Sturm Ruger, which makes semi-automatic rifles including the AR-15. And they’re the No. 2 and No. 3 owners, respectively, of Vista Outdoor."
  • Why it matters: "Investors combing through fund holdings could easily miss these positions. ... The gun makers may not matter to asset managers, but the reverse isn’t true. The fund giants help keep the stocks of gun makers afloat."
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D.C.'s March for our Lives: "The voters are coming"

Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives.
Protestor at D.C.'s March for our Lives. Photo: Axios' Stef Kight.

D.C.'s March for our Lives event is expected to see more than half a million participants.

Why it matters: While D.C. is the primary march, there are hundreds of others around the world and across the country. Led by students, the march is "to demand that a comprehensive and effective bill be immediately brought before Congress to address" gun issues, per the organization's mission statement.

Haley Britzky 3 hours ago
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DOJ eyeing tool to allow access to encrypted data on smartphones

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images

The Justice Department is in "a preliminary stage" of discussions about requiring tech companies building "tools into smartphones and other devices" that would allow law enforcement investigators to access encrypted data, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: This has been on the FBI's mind since 2010, and last month the White House "circulated a memo...outlining ways to think about solving the problem," officials told the Times. Both FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, support finding ways for law enforcement to access data without compromising devices security.