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Bill De Blasio: City pensions should drop gun-manufacturer investments

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio addresses a

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio addresses a World AIDS Day gathering in Harlem on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Spencer Platt

Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing that the city’s pension funds for cops, firefighters and hundreds of thousands of other city workers divest from investments in gun manufacturers.

Speaking Friday morning on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer radio show, the mayor said the move would punish companies that make the assault weapons used in mass shootings like the most recent in San Bernardino in which 14 people were killed and more than a dozen injured.

“Let’s for one thing get public money out of the hands of gun manufacturers,” de Blasio said, calling the divestment “where we could make a real difference” to combat the influence of such lobby groups as the National Rifle Association.

The mayor said two of the five pension funds, for teachers and the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, already have divested, and he wants the remaining three to follow suit.

His office did not immediately say the dollar value of the investments involved.

In September, de Blasio said he wants the city pension funds to end investments in coal companies, about $33 million of about $160 billion.

“We have to figure out how to address all fossil fuels,” de Blasio said Friday.

The comptroller said that he supports the goals but needs to be a good fiduciary for city worker pensions.

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