CalPERS, the California Public Employees Retirement System, on Tuesday moved to unload $5 million worth of investments in Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger and follows the Dec. 14 shootings in Newtown, CO.
The investment committee of CalPERS voted 9-3 to approve a divestment proposal by state Treasurer Bill Lockyer. Because all members of the CalPERS governing board sit on the investment committee, Tuesday’s vote doesnt need to be ratified by the board.
“Given the portfolio dollar amounts involved, the divestment may be largely symbolic,” Lockyer said in a statement issued after the vote. “But it’s still important.”
Last month the California State Teachers Retirement System voted to sell its investments in companies making firearms banned in California. CalSTRS biggest weapon investment is through its holdings in Cerberus Capital Management, owner of Freedom Group, maker of the weapon used in Newtown. Cerberus has put Freedom up for sale.