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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: February 22, 2018 04:21 PM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Divestiture and Investment Prohibition from Assault Weapon Manufacturers
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that will require divestiture and prohibit future investments by the Public School Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS’s), the State Employees’ Retirement System (SERS’s), the Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System (PMRS), and the State Treasurer in any company that manufactures assault weapons, such as the AR-15, large capacity ammunition feeding devices, or assault weapon accessories, such as bump stocks for civilian use. These weapons have become a plague, and the companies that produce them must be sent a message that profiting from the production of military style weapons for civilian use must be stopped.

My proposal will amend the Protecting Pennsylvania’s Investment Act (Act 44 of 2010) by adding a new investment prohibition. Protecting our investments comes with a moral obligation to protect the safety of our citizens. The repeated mass murders using assault weapons bans now meets this bare minimum responsibility of state government.

The bill will rely on the well-tested definitions of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition feeding devices from the federal Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, widely called the assault weapons ban. This Act, which was unfortunately permitted by Congress to expire in 2004, intended and succeeded in keeping dangerous assault weapons out of the hands of the general public.

The taxpayers of Pennsylvania and employees providing their own contributions for retirement should not be funding manufacturers of assault weapons, large capacity ammunition clips, or gun accessories that may end up being used to kill school children, teachers, or anyone else.

In tandem with this legislation, I have asked the four agencies above to provide a full accounting of the investments they have in companies that produce these types of assault weapons.

We should no longer tolerate these weapons being used for violent ends in our schools, workplaces, military bases, churches, and public events venues. One way we can take a stand against these mass shootings is to no longer invest in the companies manufacturing them for civilian use.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1170