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updated: 4/18/2013 4:41 PM

House defeats divestiture of gun companies

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Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois House has rejected a plan to force public pension systems to dump investments in gun manufacturers.

The bill sponsored by Chicago Democratic Rep. Christian Mitchell would not have applied to companies that make ceremonial weapons or just components.

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It failed 46-69.

After the Connecticut school massacre in December, teacher pension funds in California and Chicago divested their holdings.

Opponents argued pension managers should look for the best investment return regardless of what the company produces.

They said if guns are out-of-bounds, investments should not be made in knife manufacturers or makers of baseball bats.

Mitchell pointed out that lawmakers have prohibited investments in companies doing business in Sudan or Iran. In the past, state law banned South African investments.

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