Nevada Treasurer's Office to divest public funds from companies that manufacture, sell assault weapons

Nevada Treasurer’s Office to divest public funds from companies that manufacture, sell assault weapons

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Nevada State Treasurer’s Office has announced that it will immediately divest public funds from manufacturers or sellers of assault weapons.

The new internal policy means that public funds will no longer be invested in companies that profit off the manufacture or sale of assault-style weapons, and will extend to vendors of the State Treasury.

The action comes after a mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas last week in which a shooter killed 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School. According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), 20 mass shootings have happened since that day.

The Treasurer’s Office noted that Uvalde also marked the 103rd mass shooting since the 1 October shooting in Las Vegas in 2017.

The office will divest in public investments held in manufacturers and sellers of assault weapons in the General Portfolio, the Local Government Investment Pool, the Permanent School Fund, and the Nevada Higher Education Prepaid Tuition Trust.

The office said it is currently conducting a review of all State investments held by any of those four funds in companies that manufacture or sell assault weapons. Each investment will be analyzed on a case-by-case basis.

The Treasurer’s Office has identified roughly $89 million in assets that may be subject to divestment under this policy, but noted it will not divest assets that may cause financial harm to the State of Nevada.

The office said it will also encourage partners and vendors of the State Treasury to take similar action and limit or cease doing business with the companies.

As Nevada’s chief investment officer, I have a responsibility to ensure Nevada’s tax dollars are invested with minimal exposure to risk. Companies that profit on the manufacture and sale of assault-style weapons present a market risk I’m not willing to take. Investments are fundamentally a plan for the future, and it’s time Nevada started investing in a better future where our children aren’t slaughtered in classrooms.

Treasurer Zach Conine

The new investment policies will be presented for formal adoption with the State Board of Finance and the Board of Trustees of the College Savings Plan of Nevada.

The Treasurer’s Office manages an investment portfolio of over $49 billion.

This decision will join other jurisdictions including New York City, Rhode Island, and Connecticut in response to gun violence.

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