CalSTRS finalizes divestments from gun manufacturers

CalSTRS' investment committee Friday approved the divestiture of holdings in two gun manufacturers that make weapons that are illegal in California.

The investment committee voted to start the divestiture process in January following the deadly school shooting in Newtown, Conn., a month earlier. Following the January vote, CalSTRS staff met with officials of the gun manufacturers and asked them to stop making guns illegal in California, such as assault weapons and certain handguns and rifles. The companies refused.

CalSTRS' holdings in gun manufacturers are relatively small: around $2.9 million total invested in two companies, Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger, through index funds.

Sharon Hendricks, investment committee acting chairwoman, said it was the right decision.

“As a board, we have a duty to our membership to balance financial returns with social responsibility,” Ms. Hendricks said in a statement.

Assault weapons and certain handguns and rifles made by the manufacturers are illegal in California.