The dominos are continuing to fall as more and more businesses are attacking gun rights by changing their business practices to place restrictions on businesses associated with firearms.
In our last newsletter, we reported on Citigroup changing their policies to force gun manufacturers and gun retailers to follow their policies and not the law.
Now, what appears to be a growing movement in the financial industry to effect gun control by imposing restrictions on businesses engaged in manufacturing or selling firearms and accessories is continuing.
Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest banking institution, has announced it will stop lending money to business clients that manufacture “military-style” weapons for civilian use.
“We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings,” Anne Finucane, vice chairman of the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking giant, said during a Bloomberg TV interview on April 10.
“We have just a handful of manufacturers. They know what our intentions are,” Finucane told Bloomberg. “It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use.”
Manufacturers with financing through Bank of America include, Vista Outdoors Inc. and Remington.
Finucane did seem to divert from adopting a policy similar to Citigroup for the present future, telling Bloomburg a move against retailers selling “military-style” assault weapons would be a long way off and would get into issues involving “civil liberties and the Second Amendment.”
Other Dominoes Teetering?
While Citigroup and Bank of America have now made their intentions clear, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have remained mostly silent.
During a first-quarter earnings report on Friday, April 13, JPMorgan Chase’s Chief Financial Officer Mariane Lake told reporters JP Morgan’s business relations with gunmakers “have come down significantly and are pretty limited.”
Lake would not commit to any policy changes when dealing with gun manufacturers or retailers, but also gave no indications they would not occur.
“We do have robust risk management practices and policies associated with this, and we have had (them) for a number of years,” said Lake. “We continue to always refine them and work on them.”
In a separate conference call with reporters, Wells Fargo Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry said the bank has no immediate plans to end its business dealings with its gunmaker clients.
“This requires a legislative solution,” Shrewsberry said.” “We’re not currently setting policy in our extensions of credit.”
*** UPDATE TO CITIGROUP STORY***
NOTE: As an update to our previous reporting, sixteen Republicans in Congress have asked the General Service Administration (GSA) to reevaluate a $700 billion contract with Citibank as a result of its attack on the Second Amendment. On April 11, the congressmen sent the financial giant a letter outlining their contempt with regards to the recently announced Citigroup policy towards guns:
“This flagrant attempt to undermine our fundamental rights by caving to radicals should not be endorsed by our federal government. The federal government should instead do business with companies that respect all of our constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment. GSA should take all necessary steps to review and terminate its contract with Citibank unless they rescind their guidelines, and rebid the SmartPay 3 contract.”
We will have to wait and see what Citigroup does in response.