WASHINGTON — Financial firms and hedge funds invested roughly $79 million in gun manufacturers during the last quarter of 2012 — a period that includes the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn.
The purchases are the focal point of a new report from the office of New York City’s public advocate, Bill de Blasio, a mayoral candidate who has called for more than 20 hedge funds and 18 money managers in the gun industry to divest.
The report, released Thursday but provided in advance to The Huffington Post, calls out three hedge funds for new gun industry holdings in the last quarter of 2012. Those firms include Impala Asset Management, which purchased 893,938 new shares of firearms makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., valued at $27.8 million; Owl Creek Asset Management, which purchased 1.6 million shares of Smith & Wesson, valued at $13.6 million; and Highside Capital Management, which purchased 251,807 shares of Sturm Ruger, valued at $11.4 million.
“For the rest of the country, Newtown changed everything,” de Blasio said in a statement. “But for these financial firms, Newtown was just another opportunity to profit — and our communities are paying the price. We won’t let business-as-usual prevail. We will force the issue through a national divestment campaign that changes the gun industry’s dangerous practices for good.”