Florida Teachers Pension Fund Invested in Maker of School Massacre Gun

As Florida teachers grieve within the mass shooting that left 17 students and colleagues dead the other day, some of them may be surprised to learn  they’ ve been helping fund the firearms industry— including the company that made the gun used that bloody Wednesday.  

A situation pension plan for Florida teachers kept 41, 129  shares in United states Outdoor Brands  Co. valued with more than a half-million dollars, according to the Dec. 31 securities filing list the plan’ s holdings . Formerly referred to as Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Massachusetts-based American Outdoors manufactured the semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle  that was utilized in the Feb. 14 attack at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School within Parkland, Florida.

Students evacuating Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School upon Feb. 14.
Photographer: Joe Raedle/Getty Pictures North America

The securities filing, posted for the pension plan’ s web site,   shows that the Florida Retirement Program Pension Plan also invested in weapon company stock issued by Starker wind & Ruger Co., Vista Outside Inc. and Olin Corp. All these companies manufacture firearms or ammo, including assault rifles.

As of June 2017, more than half from the 405, 000 participants in the California Retirement System were employed by language schools, according to its 2017 annual report .   The fund had a $528, 500 holding in American Outdoor Brand names, which included $306, 000 in unrealized profit  as of Dec. 31, based on the quarterly submitting , making it a long-term trader in the company. (The investment is really a small fraction of the fund’ s  $154 billion portfolio. )

Nikolas Jones, 19, the alleged shooter plus a former student at the Parkland senior high school, purchased the AR-15 legally, law enforcement said.   Students at the college who escaped have been calling just for gun control measures on social media marketing and in news interviews. They were planned to attend a gun-safety reform move Tuesday in Tallahassee, the state funds, hosted by the Florida Coalition to avoid Gun Violence.   The Lakewood ranch State Board of Administration, or even SBA, which manages the teachers’ pension fund, is also based generally there.

“ As fiduciaries, the SBA must act exclusively in the interest of the participants plus beneficiaries, ” John Kuczwanski, the spokesman for the agency, said within an emailed statement.   “ Because primarily passive investors, we basically own the entire market subject to any kind of legal limitations. ”

The Florida Education Association, a situation affiliate of two national teachers’ unions, didn’ t immediately answer requests for comment.  

Following the 2012 Sandy Connect Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, in which 26 elementary school college students and teachers were gunned lower, CalSTRS and the California Public Employees’ Retirement System sold off their own stakes in both Sturm Ruger  plus Smith & Wesson.