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NY state's public pension freezes gunmaker investments

(Reuters) - New York state’s $150 billion public pension fund will stop buying shares of publicly-traded firearms manufacturers, including Sturm Ruger & Company Inc, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said on Tuesday.

The state pension fund holds 45,325 shares of Sturm Ruger valued at about $2.2 million in an index fund, he said in a statement.

Asked whether the fund would sell its Sturm Ruger holdings, a DiNapoli spokesman said that decision was “further down the line.”

Public pension funds have been examining and in some cases divesting their firearms holdings in the wake of the deadly Connecticut elementary school shooting in December.

On January 9, the $154-billion California State Teachers’ Retirement System said it would sell its investments in manufacturers of firearms and high-capacity ammunition clips that are banned in California, like the assault rifle used in the school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut.

The New York State Common Retirement Fund sold all of its holdings in Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. on December 18, DiNapoli said.

New York’s public pension “will not buy stock in companies whose primary business is manufacturing firearms for commercial sale,” DiNapoli said.

The New York fund, the third largest public pension fund in the United States, is not invested in any other public companies that make their primary source of revenue from the manufacture of firearms, DiNapoli said.

Reporting by Hilary Russ; Editing by Claudia Parsons