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California Treasurer Seeks to Expand Gun Divestment Plan

Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) -- California Treasurer Bill Lockyer is expanding his proposal to have the state’s pension funds divest holdings in firearms manufacturers to include companies that make high-capacity ammunition clips.

Lockyer last month proposed that the California Public Employees’ Retirement System or Calpers, the biggest U.S. pension, and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System , known as Calstrs, sell their investments in any gunmaker that produces weapons that are banned in California.

Lockyer is expanding his proposal to include high-capacity magazines that are also banned under state law, said a spokesman, Tom Dresslar, in a statement.

The treasurer, who is a member of the boards of both pension funds, called last month for Calstrs, with $155 billion of assets, to sell its stake in Cerberus Capital Management LP. The private-equity firm owns Freedom Group Inc., the maker of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle that police said was the primary weapon in the Dec. 14 killings of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

The mass shooting, the second deadliest in U.S. history, ignited a national debate over gun control and stricter bans on semiautomatic rifles, such as the AR-15. California prohibits assault weapons, specifically including the Bushmaster, and magazines that can hold more than 10 rounds.

Lockyer will formally introduce his divestiture proposal tomorrow when the Calstrs board meets in Sacramento, Dresslar said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael B. Marois in Sacramento at mmarois@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Pete Young at pyoung13@bloomberg.net; Stephen Merelman at smerelman@bloomberg.net

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