TRENTON – Senator Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) introduced legislation prohibiting the investment of New Jersey public employee pension funds or annuities in any gun manufacturing companies. Assemblywoman Joann Downey and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling will introduce the legislation in the General Assembly at their next quorum.
“We cannot stand by and let gun manufacturers, that profit by producing weapons, benefit from the investment of our pension funds,” said Gopal. “With this bill we are sending a message that New Jersey is making a conscious decision about the type of companies the state should invest in.”
“The pension funds from public employees should not, in any way, serve to help these firearms companies become richer at the expense of the lives of many innocent people who are being murdered with firearms throughout the country,” said Assemblyman Houghtaling.
“We should take every step possible to protect lives,” said Assemblywoman Downey. “If that means prohibiting the investment of New Jersey public employee pension funds from the gun companies, we will do so.”
The bill prohibits the State of New Jersey from investing assets of any pension or annuity fund in companies that manufacture firearms or firearm ammunition.
The bill also requires the State Investment Council and the Director of the Division of Investment to submit an initial report on its prohibited investments and thereafter to submit annual reports on its progress towards compliance with the prohibition.
According to data produced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention more than a half million people died in the U.S. as a result of a firearm injury between the years 2000 and 2015. Firearm manufacturers are the source through which perpetrators of firearm deaths obtain their weapons.
The legislation, which will be introduced in the Senate on Thursday, would ban the investment of New Jersey public employee pension funds in any gun manufacturer companies.