New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for divestment from gun manufacturers by the remaining city pension funds that have yet to do so, a news release said.
Of the five pension funds that make up the $162.9 billion New York City Retirement Systems, three still invest in gun and ammunition companies.
In March 2013, the board of the New York City Police Pension Fund elected to retain its then-$9.97 million investment in gun and ammunition companies Alliant Techsystems Inc., Olin Corp., Forjas Taurus SA, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp., and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc.
The other two pension funds who have not divested are the New York City Fire Department Pension Fund and the New York City Board of Education Retirement System. The size of their holdings could not be learned by press time.
“I call on all government pension funds in New York City and across the country to divest immediately from funds that include assault weapon manufacturers, such as the Freedom Group that made the assault weapon used in the Sandy Hook massacre. Any private equity fund investing in these companies should stop immediately,” Mr. de Blasio said in the news release.
“It is the public and private investment in gun manufacturers that helps put these weapons into the hands of killers. It should come to a halt until gun manufacturers can ensure they will sell assault weapons only to the military and law enforcement agencies, not civilians,” Mr. de Blasio added.
The New York City Teachers' Retirement System voted in February 2013 to divest all of its $13.5 million in the shares of five companies — Alliant, Olin, Forjas Taurus, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. The New York City Employees' Retirement System voted in May 2013 to divest all of its $16.2 million in their shares of the companies.
“Gun violence is a real and constant threat to our children, families and communities, and we must use every tool available to address this issue,” said John McKay, spokesman for New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer, fiduciary for the retirement system, in an e-mail. “As the mayor is aware, the trustees of the funds are responsible for making decisions regarding divestment of pension assets. The next step is for the mayor to present a detailed resolution on his proposal. We look forward to receiving that proposal, as well as to working with the mayor, and all of our trustees, to review his suggestions.”