The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (CalPERS) announced on Tuesday that it will be selling its investments in gun makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co.

According to Reuters, the decision was made by the organization’s investment committee when it was put to a vote earlier this week. The action will affect around $5 million at the two companies.

CalPERs is known as the largest public pension fund in the country and boasts an investment portfolio of $240 billion. Representatives of the fund say the move should not damage the organization’s overall financial well-being and that it is a largely symbolic divestment.

Another pension fund, the California State Teachers’ Retirement System, made similar actions when it sold its stock in five gun makers, including the two companies divested by CalPERS.

LA Times reports that the voting within the CalPERS committee was not entirely one-sided. Three board members opposed the move to sell the stock for they believe to be purely ideological reasons. One of them, insurance executive Dan Dunmoyer, said, “the premise we are taking is one that is fraught with tremendous peril.”

Image from Manhattan Loft (manhattanloftcorporation) on the flickr Creative Commons

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