New York City’s teacher pension fund has pulled its money out of publicly traded firearms manufacturers, becoming the largest U.S. public pension fund to do so in response to the school shootings in Connecticut, the city’s top financial officer said.
The $46.6 billion fund divested all its holdings in five companies, for investments valued at $13.5 million as of Jan. 26, a spokesman for New York City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday.
Some investors, including the nation’s biggest public pension funds, began reviewing their firearms holdings after 20 children and six adults were shot dead at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut in December.
“There is no need to support these companies, whose products can destroy lives and shatter communities in the blink of an eye,” Liu said in a statement. “Our investment portfolio gains nothing by doing business with these firms.”
The five companies from which the New York City fund divested are Alliant Techsystems Inc., Olin Corp. , Forjas Taurus SA, Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm, Ruger & Co..
Under pressure from the second largest U.S. public pension fund, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), U.S. private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management said days after the shooting that it would sell gunmaker Freedom Group, which made the semi-automatic rifle used in the massacre.