Monday, May 25, 2015

Mayor: City to dump firearm shares unless CEOs lobby for gun control

Philly's Nutter backs "Sandy Hook principles"

Mayor: City to dump firearm shares unless CEOs lobby for gun control

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter says he's told city lawyers to draft a resolution endorsing the "Sandy Hook Principles," which require firearms companies to lobby for gun control, including advocating a ban on military-style rifles like the Bushmaster AR-15 used by the son of a Connecticut gun enthusiast to kill 20 schoolchildren and 6 school staff in Connecticut last month, and other measures designed to track firearm ownership and use.

Companies that refuse will be barred from receiving investments from the city's $4 billion pension fund, under Nutter's proposal. 

In a statement, Nutter said the principles are based on the former Sullivan Principles, drafted by the late Philadelphia Rev. Leon Sullivan, which limited investments on companies that backed the white minority regime in South Africa, and the MacBride Principles pushing divestment in companies accused of discriminating against minority Catholics in Northern Ireland.

Nutter spokesman Mark McDonald did not immediately respond to a query as to whether Philadelphia currently owns any gun company stocks or bonds; the value of those investments; or the cost of dumping them to prove a political point.

Pennsylvania's state workers' and state teachers' pension officials also had no immediate response. The funds in the 1960s-1990s resisted political divestment measures, but later adopted a ban on investments in companies that invest in Iran after lobbying by pro-Israel groups secured boycott legislation in the General Assembly.

About this blog

PhillyDeals posts drafts, transcripts and updates of Joseph N. DiStefano's columns and stories about Philly-area business, which he's been writing since 1989.

DiStefano studied economics, history and a little engineering at Penn and taught writing at St. Joseph's. He has written thousands of columns and articles for the Inquirer, Bloomberg and other media, wrote the book Comcasted, and raised six children with his wife, who is a saint.

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Joseph N. DiStefano