California Treasurer Urges State Pension Funds to Drop Gun Sellers

California Treasurer Urges State Pension Funds to Drop Gun Sellers

Calstrs and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System together own about $12.4 million in shares of Dick’s stock and $1.7 million of Big 5, according to its most recent published holdings and current market prices. Cabela’s was acquired late last year by Bass Pro Shops, which is privately held, in a transaction that was completed last month.

Dick’s and Big 5 did not immediately respond for comment Friday afternoon.

In a statement released Friday, Bass Pro Shops said the company was “deeply saddened by the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas” and said Cabela’s would stop selling so-called bump stock devices used to allow semiautomatic rifles to fire faster.

It was not clear what retailers would be affected by a move by California, if it came to pass. Walmart said in 2015 it would stop selling assault rifles. California has some of the most restrictive rules on guns compared to many other states, including background checks and a ban on many assault rifles. A measure passed last year bans ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, though it has faced obstacles in court.

The state treasurer sits on the boards of both of the state’s major pension funds, but a divestment would require the approval of the broader boards.

“I respectfully call upon this board to refrain from allocating even a penny of our $213 billion in investable assets to the benefit of wholesale or retail sellers of these banned weapons,” Mr. Chiang wrote. “Neither taxpayer funds nor the person contributions of any public school educator – such as the three California teachers slain in Las Vegas – should be invested in the purveyors of banned military-style assault weapons.”

If Mr. Chiang’s proposal gains momentum, it could influence other state pension funds. In a statement, Jack Ehnes, the chief executive of Calstrs, said he would review the proposal, and noted that three of his system’s members died in the Las Vegas attack — “teachers who dedicated their careers to the service of youth and whose lives were cut short by unspeakable violence.”

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