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Divesting from Guns & Ammunition

This bill would direct the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM) to divest state funds from ammunition and firearm manufacturing and retail companies which derive more than 15 percent of their revenues from the sale of ammunition and firearms. This bill does not apply to firearms and ammunition sold to law enforcement and the military.

As gun violence tears at the fabric of our nation and Congress is unable to act even in the face of overwhelming support, it is time for state stewards to ensure our retirement savings and pension funds are not profiting from that violence. 

The Massachusetts legislature has always been proud to step up and protect our citizens by implementing the the most protective gun laws in the nation. That seriousness is undermined  when we invest our public dollars in companies that profit from gun violence. We should not be protecting the state with one hand and enabling manufacturers with the other. It is both inconsistent and counterproductive.

PRIM is a $71 billion fund. In 1997, Massachusetts divested from big tobacco because of the harm it caused in our communities. Today we should do the same by divesting from arms manufacturers. We can lead the charge away from guns and ammunition and send a clear signal that the status quo is untenable. Guns are weapons designed to kill. The companies who derive profit from the carnage must be held responsible for their product. 

Huffington Post reports: We take public safety seriously, therefore I felt we should not be investing public dollars in the companies that enable the violence we are trying to prevent,” state Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D), one of the bill’s authors, told HuffPost. “We should not be protecting the state with one hand and enabling manufacturers with the other. It’s both inconsistent and counterproductive.”