HEADLINES : California

California Pension Votes to Sell Shares of Smith & Wesson

Bloomberg | by Michael B. Marois | February 20, 2013

The California Public Employees' Retirement System's board voted to divest its $5 million in shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and Sturm Ruger & Co. because the companies make weapons banned in the state.

California Treasurer Bill Lockyer, a member of the fund's board, proposed that the state's public pensions sell the shares after the Dec. 14 killings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The move has been mirrored by public funds across the U.S.

Calpers, the biggest U.S. pension fund with $254.5 billion, owned 196,664 shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. and 116,594 Sturm Ruger & Co. shares as of Dec. 31, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The companies are the biggest publicly traded U.S. gunmakers. Both stakes were increased in the past quarter, the data show.

California, the largest state by population, bans some types of firearms and ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. The California State Teachers' Retirement System decided last month to begin selling its stakes in gunmakers.


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