HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Connecticut’s state treasurer took action Wednesday morning against gun companies.
State Treasurer Sean Wooden and the Investment Advisory Council, or IAC voted to approve a plan to divert money away from gun companies and is calling it “responsible gun policy.”
To understand why this could impact every taxpayer in the state, you need to understand what the state treasurer does. Essentially, he is the state’s financial adviser and helps decided where to invest your tax money.
Wooden is saying it’s not socially or fiscally responsible to invest in gun companies anymore. If it’s voted through, it would do three things:
First, divest. It takes $30 million out of the state pension fund away from five gun companies.
Secondly, it forces banks who work with the treasurer to disclose their policies when it comes to guns.
Lastly, it states they will consider those politics when it comes to working with those banks.
Wooden said, “In terms of being able to have a positive impact on stemming the tide of gun violence in our country in our communities. As well as making the best investment decision for our retirees.”
Advocates were by his side Tuesday as they took the vote, like Guilford’s Kristin Song whose son Ethan accidentally shot and killed himself two years ago.
Janet Rice was also there for the vote; she lost her son, Shane, to gun violence seven years ago.
“It’s going to take a while to get to where we need to be,” Rice said, “but we are definitely moving in the right direction.”
Critics of the move have said Wooden shouldn’t put his personal beliefs above his fiduciary responsibilities. But Wooden argues guns are a risky investment, saying this is both fiscally and socially responsible.
“I’ve been personally affected by gun violence absolutely,” Wooden said, “I’ve also been personally affected by a lot of other things that don’t make its way into our Investment Advisory Council meetings.”
Jeremy Stein from Connecticut against Gun Violence said, “Once again we are showing the rest of the country that we can look at all different avenues to try and end this epidemic.”
Wooden says in the future they would consider investing in gun safe technologies if it is expected to do well. Part of this move is also talking with banks and considering their stance on gun manufacturers before doing business with them.