Monday, September 24

Gun divestment group petitions for UC to disclose investments


More than 13,000 people have signed a petition urging the University of California to divest from gun manufacturers, following last week’s shooting near UC Santa Barbara.

The petition was created Wednesday on MoveOn.org by Campaign to Unload, one of the leaders of a divestment movement against gun manufacturers.

The UC already divested from all gun manufacturers following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, said Brooke Converse, a UC spokeswoman.

After the Sandy Hook shooting, which left 20 children and six adult staff members dead in Newtown, Connecticut, the University withdrew more than $35 million from Cerberus, a private equity firm that owns firearm companies.

Jennifer Fiore, the creator of the petition and executive director of Campaign to Unload, said if the UC’s claim is true, the UC should release a formal statement about its divestment from guns.

“The University was directly affected by the shooting,” Fiore said. “It is in a unique situation to (be able to) take a stance.”

Fiore said the Campaign to Unload thinks the UC should publicly disclose information about its investments because the current information that is publicly available does not make it clear whether the UC is still invested in gun manufacturers.

Divestment from firearm manufacturers has been an increasingly visible issue because some cities, including Los Angeles and Chicago, have divested from gun companies in their pension funds.

In February, Occidental College announced a plan to not invest in companies that manufacture assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition. In 2013, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System announced plans to sell its stakes in gun manufacturers.

Rich Appelbaum, a sociology and global and international studies professor at UC Santa Barbara, said he thinks divestment sends a message to gun companies to work toward reducing gun violence.

He added that he and the Campaign to Unload are investigating to see whether the UC has completely divested from all gun manufacturers.

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  • Whatever

    Gosh, another divestment. Divesting from gun manufacturers now??? Good grief. My fellow college students are starry eyed idealistic buffoons who also crave attention. You fools want to divest from everything.