New York City Pension Drops Gun Retailer Holdings

The New York City Employees’ Retirement System voted on Thursday to divest from its holdings in three big retailers who sell firearms.

The fund is also pushing Walmart to stop selling guns in its stores.

The campaign was led by trustee Leticia James.

From the New York Times:

The $59 billion New York City Employees’ Retirement System voted to divest itself of the shares on Thursday at its board of trustees meeting. The fund is selling shares in Dick’s Sporting Goods, Cabela’s and Big 5 Sporting Goods. The holdings, worth $10.5 million as of mid-June, are about 0.02 percent of the pension’s portfolio, according to a letter to the board of trustees from the city’s public advocate that was reviewed by The New York Times.

However small the divestment is on behalf of New York’s city employees, the move culminates a yearlong effort by some in city government to take action against the gun industry. The public advocate, Letitia James, proposed last July that the city’s pensions sell their holdings of Walmart. She has also filed complaints with the Securities and Exchange Commission about disclosures made by the gun makers Sturm, Ruger & Co. and Smith & Wesson, in addition to putting pressure on local banks to stop lending to gun makers.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has also called on New York’s pension funds to sell their holdings of companies that make assault rifles.


Ms. James has also been trying to pressure Walmart. Last August, the retailer, based in Bentonville, Ark., said it would stop selling certain types of semiautomatic rifles. In her letter to the pension’s board earlier this month, Ms. James said the board should continue to talk to Walmart about its sale of handgun ammunition and other issues.

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