February 13, 2013 / 2:00 AM / 6 years ago

CalPERS says has about $5 mln in exposure to gun makers

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 12 (Reuters) - CalPERS has approximately $5 million in exposure to firearms manufacturers whose guns are banned in California, according to a report released on Tuesday by the biggest U.S. pension fund’s investment staff.

The report stemmed from a request for a review of the matter by a board member after a mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The board member, California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer, is pressing for the fund, the $254 billion California Public Employees’ Retirement System, to sell off investments in manufacturers of firearms banned in California, like the assault rifle used in the Newtown school massacre in December.

Lockyer also sits on the board of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, which decided last month to divest its holdings in such manufacturers and to divest from makers of high-capacity ammunition clips illegal in California.

Investment staff at the state employees’ pension fund said in their report that the fund’s exposure to firearms manufacturers is in publicly traded equity securities and that divestment costs are considered minor.

CalPERS board members will take up the report at its Feb. 19 meeting.

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