California’s Teachers Pension Fund to Consider Divesting from gun Retailers
Some interesting news has come from the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) regarding its pension fund. The teachers’ pension fund is considering canceling its investments in national retail companies selling guns and ammunition banned in the state after a call for action from Treasurer John Chiang following the mass shooting in Las Vegas last month. Chiang currently sits on the board of both of California’s major public pension funds. During a CalSTRS investment committee meeting last month, Chiang stated,
Neither taxpayer funds, nor the pension contributions of any of the teachers we represent, including the three California teachers slain in Las Vegas, should be invested in the purveyors of banned military-style assault weapons.
CalSTRS has a $215.3 billion portfolio and its staff was asked to review investments the board of directors may want to have removed. After the mass shooting in Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, CalSTRS sold stock and security investments in gun manufacturers. However, Chiang’s request will require a larger divestment, because it focuses on retail companies that sell weapons and ammunition. Chiang is running for governor in 2018 and a strong stance on gun control could be a topic for discussion during the upcoming election. It certainly makes sense for a teacher’s pension fund to avoid gaining profits from national retail companies that sell guns and ammunition banned in California.