MADISON, Wis. — In the aftermath of the latest horrific mass shootings to rock the country, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski today called on the State of Wisconsin Investment Board (SWIB) to immediately identify and disclose any direct holdings in gun manufacturers and weapons companies that make and sell guns, ammo, and accessories, and make a clear and comprehensive plan to divest from those holdings as soon as possible. Godlewski also called on SWIB to set a new policy banning any such future investments.
Godlewski specifically urged SWIB to cut financial ties to firms that manufacture firearms,
ammunition, and gun components for civilian purposes. The killers in Buffalo, Uvalde and Tulsa all easily and legally accessed the powerful weapons they used in their deadly rampages.
Read Treasurer Godlewski’s letter to SWIB here.
Godlewski also announced that the Board of Commissioners of Public Lands has no direct
investments in gun companies, and will not as long as she continues to serve as BCPL Chair, a position she has held since 2019.
“Time and time and time again, our country and our state have watched in horror as innocent lives were lost from senseless – and preventable – gun violence,” said State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. “It’s long past time to enact common sense gun legislation like background checks, red flags laws, and a ban on high capacity magazines. But we can also lead by example right now, including by leveraging every tool in our economic toolbox to stop these tragedies from happening again. SWIB must begin the divestment process to ensure that our state is not supporting gun companies that profit from the death of innocent people. Not only is this the morally right thing to do, but it is also the fiscally responsible choice, as further or future investment in gun manufacturers and weapons companies puts pension funds at risk.”
According to the gun safety advocacy organization Everytown, more than 600 people die and over 1,000 are injured by gunfire in our state each year. Wisconsin gun deaths have increased 17% from 2010 to 2019, and are a leading cause of death among children and teenagers. Guns are frequently used in domestic violence incidents that overwhelmingly victimize women. Gun violence costs Wisconsin nearly $4 billion total, or $670 per Wisconsinite.
Today marks the annual Wear Orange Weekend, which raises awareness about gun violence by wearing the same color that hunters use to protect themselves and others. To help mark this observance, Treasurer Godlewski has proclaimed Gun Violence Awareness Day in Wisconsin.
A copy of that proclamation can be found here.