Liberal Florida Teachers Pension Fund Reaps Big Profits From Maker of Gun Used in Parkland School Massacre
As Florida teachers grieve over the mass shooting that left 17 students and colleagues dead last week, some of them may be surprised to learn they’ve been helping fund the firearms industry—including the company that made the gun used that bloody Wednesday.
A state pension plan for Florida teachers held 41,129 shares in American Outdoor Brands Co. valued at more than a half-million dollars, according to a Dec. 31 securities filing listing the plan’s holdings . Formerly known as Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Massachusetts-based American Outdoors manufactured the semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle that was used in the Feb. 14 attack on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
The securities filing, posted on the pension plan’s web site, shows that the Florida Retirement System Pension Plan also invested in gun company stock issued by Sturm & Ruger Co., Vista Outdoor Inc. and Olin Corp. All of these companies manufacture firearms or ammunition, including assault rifles.
As of June 2017, more than half of the 405,000 participants in the Florida Retirement System were employed by educational institutions, according to its 2017 annual report . The fund had a $528,000 holding in American Outdoor Brands, which included $306,000 in unrealized profit as of Dec. 31, according to the quarterly filing , making it a long-term investor in the company. (The investment is a small fraction of the fund’s $154 billion portfolio.)