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Emanuel now asks mutual funds to 'blacklist,' divest from firearms makers

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FILE: Jan. 21, 2013: Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel at the swearing-in of President Obama at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (AP)

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, in his latest bid to pressure gun manufacturers and those who do business with them, asked mutual fund companies Wednesday to “blacklist” and divest from firearms-makers that oppose “common sense” gun reforms.

The Democratic mayor made the request after telling commercial banks Tuesday to stop lending to gun manufacturers that stand in the way of gun control legislation.

The first-term mayor defines common sense reforms as universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons. 

“The time is now for everyone to do anything they can to stop these military-style guns and magazines from ending up on the street,” Emanuel said in a statement. “This has to be about doing what is morally right and not what is financially beneficial to their bottom lines.”

He sent letters to chief executives of Allianz, BlackRock, Dimensional Fund Advisors, Vanguard, James Investment Research and Capital World Investments. 

Emanuel made his request Tuesday to Bank of America and TD Bank, which prompted a retort from Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz.

The freshman senator sent a letter to chief executives at those banks telling them to bring the business to his state “in light of the reception you have received in the Windy City.”

He also told the chief executives of Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. Inc. : "Should Emanuel's bullying campaign prove successful, I am confident that there are numerous financial institutions in Texas that would be eager to earn your business." 

Emanuel’s efforts follow the fatal shooting last month of 20-first-graders and six adults inside a Connecticut elementary school, which resulted in White House and congressional efforts to pass legislation to tighten gun control.

After Emanuel ordered an analysis earlier this month of the five pension and retirement funds for city employees, the Chicago Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund  board voted this week to divest more than $1 million from three companies that manufacture assault weapons -- Freedom Group, Smith & Wesson, and Sturm, Ruger Co. Inc.

He has also introduced an ordinance to strengthen the city’s gun laws and is supporting state and federal safety legislation.