CTPF Maintains Policy to Divest from all Investments in Retail Assault Weapons Manufacturers
CTPF Applauds AFT Call for Investor Action to Hold Gun Manufacturers Accountable for Risks to Society

Press Release

The Chicago Teachers’ Pension Fund (CTPF) applauds the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) for its report issuing a call to action asking investors to hold gun manufacturers accountable for risks to society. In January 2013, responding to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, CTPF’s Board of Trustees took action to divest from all investments in retail assault weapons manufacturers. CTPF Trustees continue to hold fund managers accountable for following this policy to protect teachers and students from mass violence. The AFT issued a report urging all pension fund trustees to meet with their asset managers, engage in meaningful dialogue, and take action by addressing risk exposure through divestment.

“This week marks the 19th anniversary of the Columbine shootings. Since that tragic day, more than 187,000 students have been directly impacted by school shootings1, and every school aged child has been indirectly scarred by those tragic events. Our teachers are on the front line in schools and deeply understand that the third leading cause of death for the kids in our classrooms2 is gun related,” said Jay C. Rehak, President of the CTPF Board of Trustees. “We have a responsibility to protect our teachers and students as well as to act as fiduciaries. A pension fund weighs and balances investment risk, and the bottom line is that investing in weapons manufacturers involves intolerable reputational, regulatory, and statutory risks.”

The AFT “Gun Manufacturing and Investment Risks” report helps confront the gun violence epidemic in the United States. The report creates a watch list of investment managers that invest millions of dollars in companies that make assault weapons. It details work done to engage major fund managers in this dialogue and offers strategies for pension fund trustees to pursue when making investment decisions to help mitigate the safety risks assault weapons pose.


Sources:

  1. John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich, “Scarred by School Shootings,” Washington Post, updated March 25, 2018, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2018/local/us-school-shootings-history/?utm_term=.669ac9accfd3
  2.  http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2017/06/15/peds.2016-3486 #F1 Pediatrics, June 2017, Childhood Firearm Injuries in the United States, Katherine A. Fowler, Linda L. Dahlberg, Tadesse Haileyesus, Carmen Gutierrez, Sarah Bacon