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New Zealand's state pension fund to sell off stakes in gun makers

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By Reuters
New Zealand's state pension fund to sell off stakes in gun makers
FILE PHOTO: Firearms and accessories are displayed at Gun City gunshop in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva/File Photo   -   Copyright  JORGE SILVA(Reuters)

SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand’s state pension fund will sell off investments of NZ$19 million (10 million pounds) in makers of weapons outlawed by tough new firearms laws following the country’s worst peacetime mass shooting, it said on Friday.

Lawmakers voted almost unanimously this week to ban military-style semi-automatic guns and assault rifles less than a month after a lone gunman used them to kill 50 worshippers in attacks on mosques in Christchurch.

“Companies involved in the manufacture of civilian automatic and semi-automatic firearms, magazines or parts prohibited under New Zealand law have been excluded from the NZ$41 billion NZ Super Fund,” the fund said on its website.

The move was a response to the new law, it said, and identified holdings in seven companies to be affected by its decision, including American Outdoor Brands Corp, Sturm, Ruger & Co Inc and NOF Corp.

The others are Vista Outdoor Inc, OLIN Corp, Richemont and Daicel Corp.

Others may be identified in future, added the fund, which gave no timeframe for its divestments.

Makers of tobacco and some other munitions are already excluded from its investment mandate.

Authorities have charged Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, with 50 counts of murder following the Christchurch attacks.

(Reporting by Tom Westbrook; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)