Updated Dec. 5, 2023 3:49 pm ET

A group of activist nuns filed an unusual shareholder lawsuit to pressure gun maker Smith & Wesson to drastically change the way it markets, makes and sells its popular version of the AR-15 rifle.

The so-called shareholder derivative action, which the nuns filed in Nevada state court Tuesday against publicly traded Smith & Wesson, alleges that company leaders are putting shareholders at risk. They argue the leaders are exposing the company to liability by the way they have made and sold the rifle, which has been used in several mass shootings in recent years.

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