Proposed Legislation Would Require the Public Pension Fund to Divest from Companies that Manufacture Guns and Ammunition
Deputy Director of Communications
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BOSTON – Treasurer Goldberg submitted written support today on her bill H.55 and Representative Lori Ehrlich’s bill H. 2244, which will require the state’s public pension fund to divest from companies that manufacture guns and ammunition.
“In the aftermath of the horrific shooting in Parkland, Florida, I saw those brave students from Stoneman Douglas High School as they stood in the balcony watching while the Florida Legislature did nothing,” said Treasurer Deb Goldberg. “Since then we have seen multiple mass shootings all over the country. These include, but are sadly not limited to, Tree of Life Synagogue, Sante Fe High School, the El Paso Walmart parking lot, downtown Dayton, Ohio, and just last week at Saugus High School in California. Traditional approaches have not worked so divesting our public pension funds from gun and ammunition manufacturers will send a clear message that we stand with the victims and survivors of gun violence everywhere.”
“As gun violence tears at the fabric of our nation,” said State Representative Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead), “It is on us as stewards of our state retirement savings and pension funds to ensure that we are not profiting from that violence.”
The bills will ensure that the Pension Reserves Investment Management (PRIM) Board will sell, redeem, divest or withdraw all publicly-traded securities from any ammunition, firearm and firearm accessory manufacturing companies that derive 15% or more of their revenues from the sale or manufacture of ammunition, firearms or firearm accessories for civilian purposes. A summary of the legislation is attached below.
The PRIM Board can divest only as a directive from the Massachusetts Legislature. In the past, PRIM has been directed to divest from companies that derived much of its revenue from tobacco and companies doing business with Sudan, Northern Ireland and Iran due to regional conflicts.