State Street: No Assault Weapons

State Street Corporation

State Street should use its power as the third largest asset manager to tell companies to stop selling assault weapons at retail stores. It should divest from those that don't improve for moral and financial reasons.

State Street is 4.15% invested in weapon stocks, with $22.9 BILLION invested across 100 equity funds [1]. These companies are selling weapons that have been used in the 2018 shooting in Parkland which left 17 dead, a 2015 shooting in a San Bernardino, CA community center that left 14 dead, and a movie theatre shooting in Aurora, CO which left 12 dead.

State Street, as a huge asset manager, has the power to tell its companies to stop selling assault weapons. It is already engaging with weapons manufacturers on their transparency and lobbying [2], but that is only half of the equation. Retailers provide easy access to assault weapons, and face significant reputational risks in the wake of media attention driven by mass shootings. Some major retailers are already moving to restrict or cease gun sales, and State Street can encourage more action.

Many large pension funds have already moved to divest from manufacturers of military weapons and civilian firearms. The Yale endowment recently divested from assault weapons retailers [3].  State Street should tell its companies to stop selling assault weapons because we, the shareholders, do not want to support mass murder.

[1] https://weaponfreefunds.org/families?q=SPDR%20State%20Street%20Global%20Advisors&screen=all

[2] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-guns-statestreet/u-s-asset-manager-state-street-to-press-gunmakers-on-safety-efforts-idUSKCN1GA0DZ

[3] https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2018/08/24/yale-wont-invest-assault-weapon-sellers