WASHINGTON — Twelve Democratic senators are calling on banks to follow the lead of Citigroup and Bank of America in limiting their business with firearms dealers in light of recent mass shootings.
The senators, led by Dianne Feinstein of California and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, wrote letters to 11 banks — including Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — endorsing corporate policies that raise the minimum age to purchase firearms, require background checks on sales, and prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines, bump stocks and assault-style weapons.
“We applaud this model of corporate responsibility and we hope that this is the path forward for similar financial entities,” the senators said. “There is a growing consensus in the private sector that companies can and should take action to address the problem of gun violence in our country.”
The letter comes as Republicans have criticized BofA and Citi's stances, while on the other side the New York State Department of Financial Services has urged state-chartered banks to reassess any ties with the National Rifle Association and other groups, citing reputational risk concerns.
Citi banned retailers that use the bank from offering bump stocks and selling guns to underage customers or those who haven’t passed background checks. BofA said it would stop making loans to companies that manufacture assault-style weapons used for nonmilitary purposes. Wells Fargo, on the other hand, has said that lawmakers, not companies, should set gun policy.