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NYC teachers’ pension fund divests from gun makers

NEW YORK — The $46.6 billion pension fund for New York City schoolteachers has sold its stock in companies that make guns and ammunition, city officials announced Friday.

City Comptroller John Liu said the Dec. 14 school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., prompted the fund’s board of trustees to review the system’s investments in the gun industry.

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He said the board concluded that divestment would be consistent with the fund’s fiduciary standards and overall investment process.

‘‘There is no need to support these companies, whose products can destroy lives and shatter communities in the blink of an eye,’’ Liu said. ‘‘Our investment portfolio gains nothing by doing business with these firms, and this is a sound decision that sends an important message about our commitment to addressing the plague of gun violence in every possible way.’’

Pension funds for teachers and public workers around the country began reconsidering their investments in gun makers after the fatal shootings of 20 first-graders and six educators in Newtown.

The New York City Teachers’ Retirement System is the largest pension fund to sell its gun industry holdings so far, Liu said. Its programs affect more than 183,000 members, retirees and others, according to figures from its 2011 annual report. The fund had a total of $13.5 million invested in five gun makers.

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