David Shapiro seeks ‘full ban’ on weapons of war, but invests in ammo makers
David Shapiro is facing a double-digit deficit in his bid to unseat Vern Buchanan.


A deep-dive into the financial disclosure filed by David Shapiro found some possibly hypocritical investments, particularly for a candidate saying he’ll push for “a full ban on weapons of war.”

Shapiro is a leading Democrat in the race for Florida’s 16th Congressional District, challenging incumbent Congressman Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican.

According to Shapiro’s official personal finance report filed with the Federal Elections Commission, the Sarasota lawyer has up to $600,000 in investment funds containing shares of Olin Corp. and Vista Outdoor Inc., two of the top gun and ammunition makers in the nation.

There are four funds in question: Gateway GTEYX, Ishares Russell 2000, Ishares Core S&P and Ishares Russell Mid-Cap. Each of the investments is an index fund — a type of mutual fund intended to mirror the composition of the stock market, either in whole or in part.

The Ishares Russell 2000 portfolio has total assets of about $10.55 billion on July 19, including $8.5 million worth of shares in Vista Outdoors, a company that owns the Cascade Cartridge and Federal Premium Ammunition brands.

When former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords was shot, law enforcement found casings from Federal Premium Ammunition rounds littered throughout the crime scene. An advocacy group started by Giffords endorsed Shapiro for CD 16 in March.

The other three funds have a combined $30.37 billion in assets, among them $14.75 million in Olin Corp. stock.

Olin Winchester Ammunition brand manufactures bullets for handguns, shotguns, and rifles, including firearms such as the AR-15. Bullets made by Winchester Ammunition were also used in the 2012 attack on Giffords, which killed six people and left her with a severe brain injury.

Shapiro personally invited Giffords to Sarasota in June for a public event saying: “I stand with Gabby Giffords. I will not let you down.”

Shapiro’s campaign manager, Alex Vuskovic, said the investments were a far cry from supporting assault weapons manufacturers.

“There’s a big difference between weapons of war that have been used in too many school shootings and weapons for hunting and sporting. Anyone who can’t make that distinction would also be foolish enough to buy a $3.5M yacht the same day they voted for a tax bill handing themselves millions of dollars,” he said, referring to Buchanan’s purchase of an Ocean Alexander yacht the same day he voted for the House version of the Republican tax plan.

CD 16 covers all of Manatee County, southwestern Hillsborough and northern Sarasota counties. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato‘s Crystal Ball rates the district as “likely Republican” in the fall.

A video of that statement is below:

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.


  • John P.

    July 21, 2018 at 1:58 am

    Mr. Shapiro. You might want to educate yourself on weapons and where they come from. Virtually ALL weapons have their beginnings as “weapons of war”. Also for your enlightenment, AR 15’s are not now nor have they ever been used as a “weapon of war” and it certainly wouldn’t be the first choice for a soldier to take into battle. So how about you stop showing your ignorance in demonizing legitimate and LEGAL weapons as well as law abiding citizens protected by the 2nd ammendment; maybe you’ve heard of it. Stop your political grandstanding and go after the criminals and leave the rest of us alone.

    • Dennis Coates

      July 21, 2018 at 10:51 am

      I have heard of stupid but this idiot is running close to first place

    • Robert R

      July 22, 2018 at 3:33 pm

      Well said.

    • Katie

      July 30, 2018 at 2:11 am

      According to the NRA’s history of the AR 15, “ArmaLite first developed the AR-15 in the late 1950s as a military rifle, but had limited success in selling it. In 1959 the company sold the design to Colt.

      In 1963, the U.S. military selected Colt to manufacture the automatic rifle that soon became standard issue for U.S. troops in the Vietnam War. It was known as the M-16.

      Armed with that success, Colt ramped up production of a semiautomatic version of the M-16 that it sold to law enforcement and the public, marketed as the AR-15.” So, it was a gun that was created for military use, sold badly, so the manufacturer sold the design to another manufacturer who improved it, sold it, and it was then used in a war. Then, because that gun sold sold well to the military, it decided to make a semi-automatic version of the M-16 to sell to police and the public because they figured the police and the public have the same judgement and experience and need for such a gun, of course that last part is an assumption, I’m not sure why they decided to sell a semi-automatic rifle to the public, perhaps hunting without being able to shoot everything in sight isn’t effective enough?

  • The Average American

    July 21, 2018 at 5:06 am

    A weapon of war? To someone with the right training, that could be a butter knife! Are we gonna have to start buying squeeze butter now??

  • Cash c cook

    July 21, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Got no problem with weapons of war, a AR15 is not a weapon of war. You’ll never see one on a battle field

  • DG

    July 21, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Someone please remove this useless tool from it’s position. It doesn’t seem to be working properly.


      July 21, 2018 at 3:38 pm

      The politician or the journalist? Better yet, BOTH!

  • Merlin Doepner

    July 21, 2018 at 11:02 am

    What he doing is brilliant.but also a crime. It’s called insider trading. He is driving up ammunition sales with his anti gun stance. Hence Olin profits due to high sales, Alcon profits as they provide brass, copper and lead. Obama and his friends. Did the same.

  • Trevor Osborne

    July 21, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    He is just trying to use his power to make more money. If people think that they might ban a certain gun/ammo most everyone goes out and panic buys making him more money. Just look at 22lr back in 2014 you couldn’t find it on the shelves almost anywhere and when you did it would cost $10+ for a box of 50, but now it’s back on the shelves and about half the old price.

  • Robert

    July 21, 2018 at 3:01 pm

    Yet another hypocrite who lines his pockets while talking out both sides of his mouth.


    July 21, 2018 at 3:37 pm

    Mr. Wilson, you amaze me with your ignorance or both investing and of firearms and ammunition. Please go educate yourself on one or both before publishing drivel such as this again, you embarrass yourself and your craft.

  • Authoris Tarded

    July 21, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    Terrible journalism. Why is it written to sound like there’s a special ammo made just for the AR-15? .223 and 5.56 can be shot from plenty of non-“assault-style” rifles. Look up the Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle. For fun, look up the Ruger Mini 14 Tactical Rifle. Same damn gun! But liberals will have you think one is somehow less dangerous because it’s made of wood and isn’t all black.

    Guess what fool, there are ARs that shoot 9mm rounds that could be used by a handgun. I don’t know how Federal or Winchester is any more deadly whether it’s 9mm or .223. Bullets are bullets. The ignorance of talking about these ammo companies as if they’re designing ammo specifically for “weapons of war” is so idiotic. All guns are weapons of war! Where do you think the 1911 pistol came from? I’ll fill you in. It was the sidearm for the US Armed Forces from WW1 to Vietnam and beyond. Should we ban all pistols now? That’s what you’re getting at, isn’t it?


    July 22, 2018 at 4:17 pm

    Lest we miss the point of the 2nd Amendment completely, we all might as well undress it for the whole world to see. It is there to ensure the preservation of “the people’s liberty teeth”. Learn to live with it, or leave.

Comments are closed.


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