Bank of America’s vice chair, Anne Finucane, told Bloomberg TV that the bank no longer wants to “underwrite or finance military-style firearms” and that the bank has informed a number of gun manufacturers that Bank of America will no longer do business with them.
In particular, the bank will stop lending money to companies that manufacture “military-style” rifles that are available for civilians to purchase. CNBC reports that the bank has previously lended to the gun makers Vista Outdoor, Remington and Sturm Ruger.
Bank of America announced that after the shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Valentine’s Day, it was exploring ways it could contribute to stemming gun violence. The confessed Parkland shooter used an AR-15-style rifle and in the wake of that mass shooting, the most substantive conversation about gun control has emerged. And it’s shown no signs of stopping anytime soon.
Finucane said of the companies which would be impacted by this decision, “These are clients we have enjoyed a relationship with… there are those I think will reduce their portfolios and we’ll work with them and others that will choose to do something else.”
When asked whether Bank of America would stop doing business with retailers that sell assault weapons, Finucane said that would involve complicated issues dealing with civil liberties and the Second Amendment. She added that the question was “good public dialogue, but that’s a ways off.”
It’s a bold step for Bank of America but conditions have never been better for such a decision. Parkland managed to condense 30 years of impotent political discourse over common-sense gun control and parlay it into the expectation of change, of action.
At this point, a person or entity is part of the problem or part of the solution. There are no more sidelines.