(UPDATE) City officials call for divestment from gun companies; one firm claims accusations are false

State Senator Eric Adams, backed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, held up an antique gun as an example of what the Second Amendment was meant to protect.

UPDATE: De Blasio’s press conference was held outside the offices of Tiger Global Management, which he listed as the ninth-largest investor in gun companies, with a total investment of $39.5 million.

A spokesperson for Tiger Global stated that the company “has no position in any gun company and has no intention of owning a gun company in the future.”

The figure used by de Blasio was from Tiger Global’s third quarter SEC filing, and de Blasio’s office reported that after his press conference today, Tiger Global reached out to say that since that filing, they have sold their gun stocks.

De Blasio’s office will remove them from their “Dirty Dozen” list if that is published in next month’s SEC filing.

However, the Public Advocate’s office noted that “hedge funds like Tiger make very short-term investments to capitalize on changes in the market” and “a quick purchase and quick sale doesn’t mean they won’t go back and buy more gun stock tomorrow.”

They have requested an affirmation in writing from Tiger Global stating they will not invest in gun corporations in the future.

The number one firm on de Blasio’s list, Cerberus Capital Management, which is listed as having between $706 and $957 million invested in gun companies, announced their intentions to sell their gun holdings after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut last month. De Blasio also agreed to remove them from his list if their next SEC filing reflects that.

Metro’s original story is below.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio called on 12 hedge funds and investment firms to divest from gun manufacturers such as Smith & Wesson, Sturm, Ruger & Co, and Olin Corporation. The twelve companies hold a cumulative $1.65 billion in investments in gun companies, according to de Blasio. The largest investment is $706 million by Cerberus Capital Management, and the smallest is $32.9 million by Southpoint Capital Advisors LP.

De Blasio asserted that “legislation alone will not solve” the problem of gun violence, and “the root of the problem is money.”

“If we don’t change that, we can’t get guns off the street,” de Blasio argued, adding that these gun manufacturers fund the lobbying group the National Rifle Association, which works to block legislation aiming to regulate or ban firearms.

He displayed photos of assault rifles manufactured by Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., used in the Aurora, Colorado and Norway mass shootings respectively.

De Blasio requested that New Yorkers join him and the politicians with him in “putting pressure” on city and state pension funds with investments in gun manufacturers, as “leverage to undermine” the gun industry and the NRA.

According to de Blasio’s office, as of December, City Comptroller John Liu reported that the five major pension funds for city employees have a total of $18 million invested in gun holdings. De Blasio is a trustee of the largest pension fund and has called for all of them to fully divest. Councilwoman Letitia James, also present, said that she and Councilman Jumaane Williams have also asked the Comptroller to divest any city money from gun companies.

James pointed to handguns as a major problem in New York City and her
borough, Brooklyn, specifically, noting that many suicides and violent
crimes are carried out with handguns.

Williams, also of
Brooklyn, was the last official to speak. He referred to the total
investment figure of $1.5 billion on de Blasio’s poster as “obscene,”
accusing the firms of “investing in death and killing.”

He called
for a two-pronged approach to the problem: first, addressing the
“supply side” by divesting from these companies; and second, investing
in “programs to help make our kids make better choices.”

De Blasio was joined by State Senator Eric Adams, a former NYPD officer and captain who spoke about “men in baggy suits in offices silently partnering with men in baggy jeans on streets” in the perpetuating of gun crimes. Adams held up an antique pistol as an example of the kind of weapon the Second Amendment was meant to protect.

The 12 firms and hedge funds on de Blasio’s “Dirty Dozen” list and their investments:

1. Cerberus Capital Management: $706-957 million
2. BlackRock, Inc: $345.8 million
3. State Street Corporation: $140 million
4. Renaissance Technologies: $79.5 million
5. Allianz Asset Management AG: $67.9 million
6. Capital World Investors: $61.6 million
7. Ameriprise Financial, Inc.: $58.2 million
8. Northern Trust Corporation: $44.5 million
9. Tiger Global Management, LLC: $39.5 million
10. The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation: $38.3 million
11. Gilder, Gagnon, Howe & Co.: $36.8 million
12. Southpoint Capital Advisors LP: $32.9 million


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