Connecticut Treasurer Denise L. Nappier has acknowledged that the state retirement funds are still investing in gun makers, but she warned those investments could be jettisoned if there was a continued wave of gun violence incidents across the country.
“So many of us in Connecticut and beyond have seen firsthand the destruction wrought by assault rifles and the wave of gun violence that has plagued our schools and communities across the nation,” Nappier said in a press release. “It is high time to prevent access to dangerous weapons and ammunition by those who would misuse them. Should the proliferation of gun violence persist, and further compromise the safety of our young people, our communities and our long-term shareholder value, following a period of stepped up shareholder activism I will proceed to divest or not make further investments in gun companies as the most prudent course of action.”
Nappier added that the assets of the Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust Funds were invested in five gun makers “with a total investment in equities and fixed income valued at roughly $16.5 million or .05 percent of the total portfolio.” In a separate letter to state Sen. Gayle Slossberg (D-Milford) that was published in the Hartford Courant, Nappier identified the companies in the state’s portfolio as CIE Financiere Richemont SA (a $7.19 million investment), Daicel Corp. (a $1.65 million investment), Olin Corp. (a $915,255 investment), Orbital ATK Inc. (a $784,437 investment) and Vista Outdoor Inc. (a $4.04 million investment).
Nappier defended the state’s continued investment in these companies as being financially prudent. “I believe that common sense gun control measures and whether investment in gun companies will deliver returns that meet the long-term interests of the plans beneficiaries are really two sides of the same coin, neither of which can be ignored,” she wrote. “I am charged with making investment decisions in the best interests of the beneficiaries that depend on these assets for retirement. Fiduciary duty requires that I take into account not only the appropriate balance between risk and return, but also the long-term viability of the investment itself.”