Bank of America is backing away from companies that make military-style assault rifles for civilian use.
“It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use,” Anne Finucane, a vice chairman at Bank of America, said Tuesday in a Bloomberg Television interview.
The bank has had “intense conversations over the last few months” with those kinds of gun manufacturers to tell them it will not finance their operations in the future, she said.
Finucane said Bank of America also will not underwrite securities issued by manufacturers of military-style guns used by civilians.
According to Bloomberg, it is the first time an executive at the nation’s second-largest bank has publicly laid out how it will deal with gun-industry clients following Feb. 14 shootings at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead.
But reaction to the plan has been “mixed” among gun companies, she said.
“There are those that will reduce their portfolios, and we’ll work with them, and others that will do something else,” she told Bloomberg TV.
According to Bloomberg news, at least a half-dozen of the nation’s major gun manufacturers produce military-style firearms, including Remington Outdoor Co., Sturm Ruger & Co., SIG Sauer, Vista Outdoor Inc., O.F. Mossberg & Sons, and American Outdoor Brands Corp.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, a firearms industry lobby, puts the economic impact of the gun and ammunition industry at $51.1 billion nationwide in 2017, Bloomberg reported — and criticized the bank’s move.
“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,” said Michael Bazinet, a spokesman for the NSSF. “We should be part of the discussion.”
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