Slossberg says no more investing pension funds in gun manufacturing

Senator Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) on Monday sent a letter to Connecticut State Treasurer Denise Nappier, requesting information on whether Connecticut has invested any of its state employees’ pension funds or teachers’ pension funds in gun manufacturers.

At least a dozen states, including New York, have invested their teachers’ pension funds in the stocks of gun manufacturers, Slossberg said.

She is also requesting information on how to divest from gun manufacturers if Connecticut has made similar investments.

The Connecticut Education Association (CEA) and American Federation of Teachers Connecticut, Connecticut’s two teachers’ unions, have both expressed their support for Slossberg’s efforts to keep public pension funds from being invested in gun stocks, according to a press release from Slossberg’s office.

“Connecticut knows the pain of gun violence too well, and we must do everything in our power to protect our children and the nation’s children,” said Slossberg. “If our pension funds are currently being used to support gun manufacturers, I believe we should divest immediately. Our state has enacted the strongest gun safety legislation in the country. This legislation is seen as a model for the nation, but we cannot rest on this critical issue. We should not now or in the future be investing public dollars in the manufacture of guns that are being sold to children to kill children. I eagerly await Treasurer Nappier’s response.”

“After the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Connecticut passed some of the most stringent gun and school safety laws in the country,” said CEA President Sheila Cohen. “It makes sense for the state to invest its pension funds in companies that do not contribute to violence in our communities and do not manufacture semi-automatic rifles or high-capacity magazines for pistols or rifles."

Slossberg also announced her plans to pursue legislative action that will prevent any future investment of Connecticut’s pension funds into gun stocks.

Slossberg said the New Jersey legislature is currently considering legislation that will prevent state pensions from being invested in gun manufacturers. The Florida Education Association has requested that the state divest the teachers’ pension funds from the gun manufacturers it currently owns stock in, she said.