O'Rourke urges credit card lenders to stop backing gun sales

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WASHINGTON — Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke is calling on his supporters to tell the financial industry to stop offering services for the sale of assault weapons.

In a post on Twitter Thursday, the former Texas congressman linked credit card-backed gun sales with recent mass shootings.

“Credit cards have enabled many of America’s mass shootings in the last decade—and with Washington unwilling to act, they need to cut off the sales of weapons of war today,” O’Rourke said in the post.

He also posted a link on Twitter calling supporters to add their names to a petition that his campaign plans to send to Visa, Mastercard and the big banks.

Specifically, the petition calls on banks and credit card companies to refuse to provide services for the sale of assault weapons, stop processing transactions for gun sales online or at gun shows without background checks, and stop doing business with gun or ammo manufacturers that produce or sell assault weapons.

After a series of high-profile mass shootings, several banks had already said they would not service the firearms industry. O'Rourke is one of 10 Democratic candidates scheduled to participate in Thursday night's presidential debate.

Republicans have been critical of the financial firms that have enacted policies to cut off the firearms industry, saying banks shouldn’t remove access to financial services for legal businesses.

Two Senate Republicans introduced legislation in March aimed at preventing banks and credit unions from cutting off services to legal firearms businesses, after large financial institutions, including Bank of America and Citigroup, announced they will curtail businesses with customers associated with firearms businesses.

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