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Nevada will divest $89M in firearms company investments

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AP Photo/John Locher, File
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A fully automatic machine gun is fired at a shop in Las Vegas. Nevada will divest from companies that profit from the manufacture or sale of assault-style weapons, state treasurer Zach Conine announced Thursday, June 2, 2022, adding the western state to the list of those that have exempted firearm businesses from their portfolios in recent years.

Nevada will divest investments valued at $89 million in companies that profit from the manufacture or sale of assault-style weapons, state treasurer Zach Conine announced Thursday. The decision adds the state to the list of those that have exempted firearm businesses from their portfolios in recent years.

Connecticut, Rhode Island and New York City are among places in the U.S. that have taken similar steps and Conine called on treasurers around the U.S. to follow suit.

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“We have a moral obligation not to just offer thoughts and prayers, but to act,” said Conine, a Democrat. “And we have a financial obligation to rid ourselves of investments that carry this much risk.”

The announcement came nine days after a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers after storming an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, with a military-style rifle.

An initial review by the Nevada treasurer’s office identified about $89 million in investments that would be subject to the new policy. That represents just a fraction of a state’s overall investment portfolio of nearly $50 billion.

Conine said that investments that cannot be divested profitably soon will be sold when officials can do so.

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He recalled tearfully dropping off his three children at school last week with and a discussion at his child’s pre-K graduation about how to evacuate in case of a shooting.

Nevada has the 16th highest rate of gun deaths in the country with an average of 519 per year, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office.

Nevada also is home to the headquarters of one of the leading gun manufacturers in the country, Polymer80, a main manufacturer of “ghost guns,” or unfinished frames and receivers that can be made into full guns.

The Biden administration announced in April that unfinished frames and receivers would be included into the federal “firearm” definition.

Conine’s announcement came a day before National Gun Violence Awareness Day.