The California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) has decided to remain invested in “assault weapon” retailers while simultaneously taking part in publicly engaging retailers.
CalSTRS’ “exposure to retailers and wholesalers of assault-style rifles exceeds $420 million.”
Reuters reports CalSTRS divested from publicly traded firearm manufacturers following the heinous December 14, 2012, attack on Sandy Hook Elementary School. That attack was carried out by a man who stole his guns then used them to killed 26 innocents. On Wednesday CalSTRS decided to take a different approach with “assault weapon” retailers; an approach that involves maintaining investment while making a public push for change.
The decision to remain invested came after California State Treasurer John Chiang pressured the fund to “the power of its purse strings…[to] deny weapons of mass carnage to another killer stalking our innocent loved ones.” The fund will hire two employees to work with “assault weapon” retailers with the understanding that divestment will be reconsidered if “acceptable” changes in retail methods are not secured.
CalSTRS Investment Committee Chair Harry Keiley spoke to the approach, saying, “Unlike other CalSTRS engagements, where our staff practices quiet diplomacy, this plan advances a more public approach, to leverage the public pressure that has been mounting in this country in response to recent tragic gun violence. We encourage other institutional investors to consider conducting similar activities.”
CalSTRS is the second largest pension fund in the U.S. The fund’s ” total portfolio reached $222.5 billion as of March 31.”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.