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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2019 - 2020 Regular Session


Posted: December 26, 2018 11:22 AM
From: Senator Jay Costa
To: All Senate members
Subject: Divestiture and Investment Prohibition from Assault Weapon Manufacturers
In the near future I will be re-introducing Senate Bill 1170 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).

Assault 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.

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 companies manufacturing them for civilian use.

Last session this bill was co-sponsored by Senators Schwank, Blake, Fontana, Street and Hughes.

Please join me in cosponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB388