Mayor Bill de Blasio Calls for Public and Private Divestment from Gun Manufacturers

December 4, 2015

Urges Manufacturers to Stop Selling Assault Weapons to Civilians 

“Whatever the motive behind the San Bernardino murders, the deadly power behind the weapons used to execute 14 innocent people and wound another 23 is not in question. Assault weapons are designed and manufactured for one purpose and one purpose only – to kill people. With an assault weapon, Adam Lanza killed 26 people – mostly children – and wounded two others in Newtown in a mere 264 seconds. 

“Today I call on all government pension funds in New York City and across the country to divest immediately from funds that include assault weapon manufacturers, such as the Freedom Group that made the assault weapon used in the Sandy Hook massacre. Any private equity fund investing in these companies should stop immediately. 

“It is the public and private investment in gun manufacturers that helps put these weapons into the hands of killers. It should come to a halt until gun manufacturers can ensure they will sell assault weapons only to the military and law enforcement agencies, not civilians.

“Currently all NYC pension funds have divested with the exception of NYPD, FDNY and BERS. I am urging the City Comptroller to divest as soon as possible if no verifiable assurance is given that assault weapons will not be sold to civilians. There is plenty of money to be made manufacturing guns and rifles specifically designed for hunting and home defense. A restriction on civilian ownership of assault weapons will make it much harder for criminals, terrorists and people suffering from mental illness to obtain these killing machines.

“Meanwhile, the GOP must get out of the way and allow Congress to pass a bill to keep guns away from terrorists and approve gun control legislation. My heart aches for the victims and their families, but they and other loved ones expect us to do much more than simply express regret.”

NOTE: The two NYC pension funds that have divested from gun manufacturers are NYCERS, New York City Employees Retirement System, and NYC TRS, New York City Teachers Retirement System.

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