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State retirement fund freezes investments in commercial firearm manufacturers

ALBANY – The New York State Common Retirement Fund (Fund) will freeze its investments in publicly-traded commercial firearm manufacturers.

“The New York State Common Retirement Fund will not buy stock in companies whose primary business is manufacturing firearms for commercial sale,” State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli announced said, in announcing the freeze late Tuesday.  “After the terrible events in Newtown, it is clear that the national movement toward greater regulation of firearms manufacturers will impose significant reputational, regulatory and statutory hurdles that may affect shareholder value. As the fiduciary of the Fund, it is my obligation to protect and grow Fund assets and we will continue to monitor the economic and regulatory environment before taking any additional steps.”

The freeze impacts the Fund’s holdings in an index fund of 45,325 shares of Sturm, Ruger and Company valued at approximately $2,174,000. The Fund’s holdings in Smith and Wesson Holding Corporation were sold by an outside manager in their entirety on December 18, 2012. The Fund does not hold any other public companies whose primary source of revenue is commercial firearms manufacturing.  The freeze will be in place for an indefinite period of time.

DiNapoli, acting on the recommendation of the Fund’s Chief Investment Officer Vicki Fuller and after consulting outside fiduciary counsel, has directed the Fund to not purchase any additional shares of Sturm, Ruger and Company. This freeze applies to both actively-managed as well as indexed investments.