While all the attention has been focused on the “corporations with financial ties to the NRA,” little emphasis is on the banks backing the gun manufacturers producing the weapons used in many of America’s mass shootings.
After consumers “convinced more than 20 companies to end relationships” with the NRA last week, according to ThinkProgress, one bank with financial ties to several gun manufacturers is reconsidering its relationships.
Bank of America came forward last week saying it will review relationships with gun manufacturers.
“We are joining other companies in our industry to examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings, and an immediate step we’re taking is to engage the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility,” Bank of America said in a statement to Axios.
Bank of America and other financial institutes finance the manufacturing of assault weapons through “varying types of credit arrangements,” ThinkProgress reported. More than a dozen banks support five of the largest gun manufacturers – Remington Outdoor, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger, Sig Sauer, and Vista Outdoor – connected to countless shooting tragedies such as Parkland, Sand Hook Elementary School, Orlando nightclub, and Texas church shooting.
The banks financing the assault weapons industry include Bank of Amertica, Bank of Montreal, Berkshire Bank, Branch Bank and Trust (BB&T), Capital One, Citizens Financial Group, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley Bank, MUFG Bank, Northern Trust Company, People’s United Bank, Regions Bank, Stifel Bank & Trust, TD Bank, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo and Zions First National.
While Bank of America is the only financial institute to address the issue of gun violence in America head on, a spokesperson for Wells Fargo said in a statement to ThinkProgress that while she couldn’t talk about its relationships due to “client confidentiality rules,” the bank thinks the issue is to be settled “through a political and legislative process.”
“Like all of you, we at Wells Fargo are deeply saddened and troubled by the recurring gun violence that is touching our communities and schools,” Jennifer Dunn said. “We respect and encourage the debate our nation is having regarding firearms and public safety, and we believe the best way to resolve this issue is through the political and legislative process, where all Americans have the opportunity to participate. We encourage our team members, our customers, and third parties to work together over the coming days to discuss what additional steps we may take together in support of enhanced public safety.”