Anti-Gun Advocates are Focusing on Financial Institutions to Break Ties with Gun Organizations

Gun controllers never rest and one new tactic they’re considering is using state pressure on banks to stop dealing with gun manufacturers, ammunition producers, or retailers who sell firearms like Walmart.

Mayra Rodriguez Valladares wrote an article detailing how gun control activists can continue to put pressure on financial institutions to stop doing business with gun organizations.

In February of last year, Think Progress identified over a dozen banks that help finance gun and ammunition manufacturers. Ever since, various gun control advocates have pressured banks to break ties to the gun industry. Earlier in the year, non-profit organizations such as Guns Down America, the American Federation of Teachers, Colors of Change, Newtown Action Alliance, Survivors Empowered, This is Our Lane, and the Violence Policy Center published “Is Your Bank Loaded?”

This piece reviews the dealings of America’s biggest banks and includes a score card that ranks banks “on financial relationships between banks and gun, ammunition and accessory manufacturers, financial relationships between the banks and the NRA or Gun Owners of America, sponsorships or member benefits provided to NRA members, statements by the banks regarding the need for stronger gun violence prevention laws, and campaign donations to the NRA’s Million Dollar Members.”

Banks like Citibank received a B grade, the best grade any of the banks received. BB&T, Chase, PNC, TDBank, US Bank Corp, and WellsFargo received the worst mark, an ‘F.’

Now state legislatures are taking note. Democratic California Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove put forward a resolution to pressure “banks that have open demand accounts with the state to evaluate their relationships with gun manufacturers and adopt lending practices that protect citizens before profits.” The resolution notes that California has “demand accounts with six banks that concurrently lend to gun manufacturers, which are Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Union Bank MUFG, U.S. Bank, and Wells Fargo & Co.”

According to Kamlager-Dove, “California has more gun laws than any other state in the union.” Instead of introducing new laws, Kamlager-Dove’s resolution “intends to affect the proliferation of guns by urging six nationally chartered banks to curtail their relationships with gun manufacturers. If major banks refuse to extend credit to gun manufacturers, borrowing costs for gun manufacturers would likely increase, which could reduce industry investment in additional capacity or new business lines.” Additionally, “such a result could reduce the proliferation of guns not only in California, but also across state lines.”




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