California Treasurer Bill Lockyer wants the state’s gigantic public pension funds to divest themselves of investments in any firearm manufacturer that makes guns banned in California.
Lockyer said Monday that he has asked staff at the California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS) to identify all their investments in gun manufacturers. As treasurer, Lockyer sits on both systems’ boards.
The request follows reports that CalSTRS indirectly owns a part of Bushmaster Firearms International, the North Carolina-based maker of the .223-caliber assault rifle that Adam Lanza used in his murderous spree Friday at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Lanza killed 20 children, six adults and himself.
“STRS and PERS should not be investing in any company that makes guns that are illegal in California, especially ones used to kill 20 innocent children and 6 innocent adults,” Lockyer said Monday.
Reuters reports CalSTRS had invested $751.4 million with Cerberus by the end of March 2012, according to its website. Cerberus owns Madison, North Carolina-based Freedom Group Inc., which includes Bushmaster.
Bushmaster’s XM15 line of rifles are specifically banned by California’s assault weapons law.