Bank of America will stop lending to companies that produce military-style firearms for civilian use in an attempt to curb mass shootings.
After a spate of deadly attacks involving rapid-fire weapons, the bank on Tuesday announced it will no longer support firearm-manufacturing clients financially.
Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chairwoman, said the banking giant funds a number of big-name companies that produce semi-automatic weapons, such as the AR-15, but declined to identify them.
“We want to contribute in anyway we can to reducing these mass shootings. It’s such a tragedy in the U.S.,” Finucane told Bloomberg TV.
“We have let them know that … it’s not our intent to underride or finance military-style firearms on a go-forward basis,” she said.
She said the manufacturers’ response to the decision has been “mixed.”
Finucane stopped short of announcing similar limitations to big-box retailers that sell the military-style weapon, citing difficulties with “civil liberties and the 2nd Amendment.”
“That’s a good public dialogue but that’s a ways off,” she said.
The North Carolina-based banking group announced similar lending limits to coal extraction companies in 2015, acknowledging during an annual meeting that “climate change poses a significant threat” to the planet.
Citigroup was the first of Wall Street banking conglomerates to take a stance in the volatile gun control debate following the Parkland, Fla., school shooting in February.
The company in March announced it would prohibit the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines and bar customers younger than 21 and those who have failed background checks from buying firearms.
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