N.Y. City Teachers pension fund dumps gun-makers' stocks

John Liu
John C. Liu: “There is no need to support these companies, whose products can destroy lives and shatter communities in the blink of an eye”

New York City Teachers' Retirement System, one of five pension funds in the New York City Retirement Systems, has divested all of its holdings in publicly traded gun and ammunition manufacturers, confirmed Connor Osetek, a spokesman for New York City Comptroller John Liu.

In an interview Friday, Mr. Osetek said the $46.6 billion teachers pension fund owned about $13.5 million in the shares of five companies — Alliant Techsystems Inc., Olin Corp., Forjas Taurus SA, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc.

“There is no need to support these companies, whose products can destroy lives and shatter communities in the blink of an eye,” Mr. Liu said in a news release, referring to the December school shooting in Newtown, Conn.

“Our investment portfolio gains nothing by doing business with these firms, and this is a sound decision that sends an important message about our commitment to addressing the plague of gun violence in every possible way,” Mr. Liu added.

Mr. Liu is the custodian of and investment adviser to the five pension funds in the $127.5 billion New York City Retirement Systems.

Mr. Osetek said the boards of trustees of the other four city pension funds haven't made a decision on whether to keep or divest gun and ammunition stocks. The board of the $42 billion New York City Employees Retirement System, the second-largest of the five city pension funds, recently voted to ask Callan Associates, its general consultant, to examine divestment policies at other pension funds.