‘It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use…’
(Brendan Clarey, Liberty Headlines) Bank of America announced Tuesday that it will no longer provide money to gun manufacturers who manufacture semi-automatic AR-15 weapons for civilian use.
The announcement was made by Anne Finucane, who said that the bank wants to do what it can to prevent mass shootings, and that means it won’t help popular gun manufacturers that create AR-15-style weapons like Sturm, Ruger & Company; Smith and Wesson; and Remington, according to Bloomberg news.
“It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use,” said Finucane, who handles BofA’s social initiatives, in a television interview with Bloomberg. “We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings.”
She told Bloomberg the gun companies have had varied reactions to the news that the Bank of America will no longer finance them.
“There are those that will reduce their portfolios, and we’ll work with them, and others that will do something else,” Finucane said.
Mark Huffman of ConsumerAffairs wrote, “Withdrawing credit from gunmakers that produce so-called assault-style rifles will likely affect many firearms manufacturers because the semi-automatic AR-15 is one of the most popular rifles in America, with just about every gun manufacturer producing a version of it.”
He added that the NRA says the AR-15 is widely used for home defense.
Bloomberg reported that the National Shooting Sports Foundation valued the firearm industry at $51.1 billion nationwide in 2017.
The NSSF commented on Bank of America’s decision, demonstrating their desire to be included in these decisions.
“We as an industry would welcome the opportunity to sit down with Bank of America executives and explain our industry’s perspective to discuss what really would work to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them,” Michael Bazinet, a spokesman for the NSSF, said according to Bloomberg.
“We should be part of the discussion,” Bazinet added.
Last month Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan announced his bank is talking with gun manufacturers, with the understanding that Americans should still be able to buy what they want without the interference of banks, according to the Charlotte Observer.
“I don’t know if Americans, regardless of which side of the issue you might be on, on whether or not folks should own guns or which type they should purchase, do they really want their bank to be making that decision?” Sloan said to the Observer.
“I don’t know if banks or credit card companies or any other financial institution should be the arbiter of what an American can buy,” he concluded.