Connecticut State Treasurer Shawn Wooden announced a ‘first-of-its-kind’ framework intended to mitigate the damage sowed and subsequent costs incurred by gun violence.
The announced policy, which must still be approved by an advisory board, would call for the divestment of approximately $30 million of stock holdings in five companies that are directly associated with the manufacturing of civilian weaponry and ammunition, and prohibiting future investments in such companies.
Wooden’s policy also requests that any banks and financial institutions conducting business with the state’s treasury to disclose their relationships with civilian gun manufacturing companies, and their policies on the topic. Their policies will be reviewed and taken into consideration when the state is approving who it works with.
“From an investment perspective, civilian gun manufacturers face significant risks that have an impact on company profitability and long-term shareholder value. Often a volatile investment, the stock prices of these companies present unnecessary financial and business risks associated with the products manufactured,” the office said in a prepared statement.
The treasury manages upwards of $36 billion in assets under management, so the announcement is largely symbolic, with the gun policy considerations before engaging with other companies unlikely to influence the market.
The treasury’s holdings related to civilian firearms include Clarus Corp., Daicel Corp., Vista Outdoor Inc., Olin Corp., and Northrop Grumman.
Civilian firearm divestment is a growing trend among pension funds. Earlier this year, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto asked the board of the city’s Comprehensive Municipal Pension Trust to develop a plan to divest from fossil fuels, firearms, and ammunition companies, and for-profit prisons.
New Zealand Super announced it will divest from seven gun companies following a deadly local shooting and tighter firearms laws in the country.