State Treasurers in Massachusetts and Nevada have announced their intentions to divest millions of dollars in state funds from investing in gun manufacturers and other firearms-related businesses.
As reported by Newsweek, the two statewide officials, both Democrats, made their plans clear on Thursday, seeking public support for their decisions. In Nevada, Zach Conine (D-Nev.) released a video statement explained his reasoning for seeking to cut ties between companies that produce “assault-style weapons” and the $47 billion in state funds that his office oversees.
“In my opinion, they expose the state to too much risk,” said Conine. “As a chief investment officer of Nevada, managing risk to Nevada’s taxpayers is my responsibility. The moral risk for investing in these companies is too high and is more than we are willing to bear, and investment is fundamentally plans for the future.” Conine added that his plans would not see the state simply sell off all the current investments immediately, as this would produce a loss for the state; instead, he said he plans to hold the investments until maturity, then never buy into such investments again.
Massachusetts’ Treasurer Deborah Goldberg (D-Mass.) proposed that the state government require the state’s $101.5 billion pension fund divest at least $2 million from “companies that manufacture and distribute guns and ammunition for civilian use.”
“It is unacceptable that we as a country continue to live in a seemingly endless cycle of gun violence,” Goldberg said in a statement. “Traditional approaches are not working, and we must do what we can to potentially save lives.” Goldberg is demanding that state lawmakers introduce legislation that would specifically order the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board to withdraw its money from publicly traded companies where 15 percent or more of their revenues come from the sale or manufacture of “ammunition, firearms or firearm accessories for civilian purposes.”
The announcements from these two officials reflect a broader trend of Democratic politicians demanding further crackdowns on gun manufacturers in the aftermath of two recent mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Uvalde, Texas. Others have demanded action be taken against the National Rifle Association (NRA), the largest and oldest gun rights group in the nation.