NYC Teachers' Pension Fund Dumps Gun-Related Investments: Largest Divestment Since Sandy Hook Shooting

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by Daniel Terrill

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New York City’s teachers’ pension fund dumped all their stock in gun and ammo manufacturers on Feb. 15. The $46.6 billion fund is the nation’s largest pension fund to divest from the industry since the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, in December.

The total divestment was recently valued around $13.5 million, according to Reuters, and was split among five companies that included Alliant Techsystems Inc. (ATK makes an assortment of goods, but is better known for ammo), Olin Corporation (OLN owns Winchester Ammo), Forjas Taurus SA (FJTA4 is Taurus), Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (SWHC), and Sturm, Ruger & Company (RGR).

The move comes after the NYC Teachers’ Retirement System Board of Trustees requested an evaluation of the system’s investments in the industry, and the evaluation concluded that the divestment would be consistent with the TRS’ fiduciary standards and investment process, according to the statement. In other words, they were not legally obligated to keep the funds invested in the companies.

NYC Comptroller John C. Liu, who might be running for NYC mayor later this year, shed light on the reasoning behind the decision to divest.

u201CThere is no need to support these companies, whose products can destroy lives and shatter communities in the blink of an eye,u201D he said. u201COur 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.u201D

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