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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Jan Perry Tries to Cut City Ties to Gun Sellers

City Councilwoman proposes plan to reduce city association with assault weapon vendors

In response to recent shootings, the City Council, led by Councilwoman and mayoral candidate Jan Perry, has requested three municipal employee pension boards to stop investing in companies involved in the process and distribution of ammunition and assault weapons, including corporate giant Wal-Mart and gun manufacturing company Smith & Wesson.

"As a city we have the opportunity to make a very bold statement that we will not fund industries that support or produce asasult weapons," Perry stated.

Perry sent letters to three pension administration boards representing city, public safety, and Department of Water and Power workers, requesting they reconsider their involvement with the aforementioned companies. 

"Through this simple yet meaningful act," Perry stated, "we are sending a sbustantive signal on where we stand as the second largest city in the nation. We will not use our resources to fund the purchase and sale of these kinds of weapons."

Perry, who introduced the proposal in January, also gave a report during Wednesday's meeting explaining the degree to which the city pension plan is invested in the gun industry, including $6.7 million with an ammunition company.

She also reported that the Los Angeles City Employee Retirement System invested more than $150 million to ammunition companies, gun retailers, and other weapon manufacturers.

According to Eva Kandarpa Behrend, a staff member at Perry's office, the police and fire pension boards are expected to adopt her requests as early as March, while the DWP workers board will come to a decision next week.

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