OAKLAND, Calif., June 26, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Weapon Free Funds, a new tool from non-profit groups As You Sow and CODEPINK, was released today to help individuals, communities, universities and others review their mutual fund investments for holdings in military contractors and gun manufacturers and retailers. Handguns, assault rifles, ammunition, cluster munitions, landmines and nuclear weapons are often embedded in commonly-held mutual funds and ETFs.
Employer-offered 401(k)s, personal mutual fund portfolios and pension funds are likely to be invested in weapons manufacturers, including large defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Raytheon, and gun companies such as American Outdoor Brands—the company that makes the assault rifle that was used in the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
"If you're an investor who doesn't want to support the weapons industry, you have to first know what you own," said Andrew Behar, CEO of As You Sow. "It's important that people are offered the choice to invest responsibly and avoid companies profiting from violence—especially when many of the clean funds outperform."
Weapon Free Funds, covering 3,000 of the most commonly-owned U.S. mutual funds from major asset managers like Vanguard, Fidelity and BlackRock, allows investors to find out if their mutual fund investments are being used to finance makers of military weapons and civilian firearms, and to find alternative, socially-responsible options that avoid the war economy. Investors can easily see how their investments support major military contractors, cluster munitions (banned in 100+ countries), nuclear weapons, gun manufacturers and gun retailers.
"There should be no profit from war. We should not be making a killing on killing," Jodie Evans, co-founder of CODEPINK, said. "To end violence and war we can start with our cities, states, schools, and churches acting from their values."
Weapon Free Funds is available at weaponfreefunds.org.
As You Sow is a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental and social corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building and innovative legal strategies.
CODEPINK is a women-led grassroots organization working to end U.S. wars and militarism, support peace and human rights initiatives, and redirect our tax dollars into healthcare, education, green jobs and other life-affirming programs.
SOURCE As You Sow