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Mass. pension fund details gun investments

State Treasurer Steve Grossman says the Massachusetts pension fund has about $27.8 million invested in the gun industry.

The Globe reported earlier this week that Grossman had asked for an accounting of gun-related investments following the Dec. 14 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. “Given recent events, we’re engaged in a serious conversation on gun violence in America, and I hope that the timely release of this information will make that as comprehensive a discussion as possible,” Grossman said in a statement Friday.

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He also said he supports reinstating a federal ban on assault weapons that was allowed to expire in 2004.

The $51 billion state pension fund has relatively small holdings in two publicly traded gun makers, including Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. in Springfield, through passive index managers that invest on its behalf — about $1.4 million. The state is also invested in a Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. private equity fund that owns privately held Academy Sports and Outdoors, a retailer that features guns.

Academy sells firearms made by Freedom Group, the nation’s largest gun company, which is owned by Cerberus Capital Management. Cerberus, under pressure this week from clients, said it plans to sell Freedom.

Cerberus also owns the Steward Health Care chain of hospitals in the Boston area.

Beth Healy can be reached at
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