Bank Of America Now Refuses Loans To Makers Of AR-15, Similar Rifles

This Monday, July 18, 2016, file photo shows the top of a Bank of America ATM booth, in Woburn, Mass. Bank of America Corp. reports earnings, Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

It seems anti-gunners really want to end the private ownership of guns. Sure, right now they’re ramping up the pressure on the AR-15, but they will eventually spread to all guns once they secure that beachhead.


But let’s also be honest for a moment. They really don’t have the votes to make this happen, and they know that even if a blue wave sweeps through Congress, they’re still not going to have the votes.

They have a solution, though. They have a way to hurt private ownership of guns without needing Congress at all. They simply pressure the financial industry to make it impossible for gun manufacturers to do business. Without the support of some financial institution, gun makers and sellers are hosed.

And now, the left is one step closer to making that happen.

Bank of America Corp. will no longer lend money to companies that manufacture military-style assault weapons for civilian use, in the hopes the move will contribute to a reduction in the number of mass shootings nationwide.

Anne Finucane, Bank of America’s vice chairman, said Tuesday in an interview on Bloomberg TV that the bank has notified the handful of gun manufacturers it does business with about the decision. It would not name the companies.

“We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings — it’s such a tragedy in the United States,” Finucane said. “We do have a few manufacturers of military-style firearms . . . We have let them know that it’s not our intent to underwrite or finance military-style firearms on a go-forward basis.”

Asked whether the bank also would stop doing business with retailers that sell assault weapons, Finucane said it would involve complicated issues related to civil liberties and the Second Amendment. “That’s a good public dialogue that’s a ways off,” she said.

Reaction from gun manufacturers that do business with Bank of America was “mixed,” Finucane said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”

The decision is not likely to have much of an impact on Bank of America’s bottom line, since there aren’t that many manufacturers of military-style firearms nationally, said Milton banking consultant Suzanne Moot.


Unfortunately, Moot is correct. There aren’t all that many manufacturers out there.

There are also a number of manufacturers that didn’t use Bank of America, and were thus were unaffected by this.

Let’s also note that Finucane didn’t dismiss the possibility of ceasing to do business with sellers. Instead, he says it’s “complicated.” Isn’t that what someone says when they want to sever a relationship but aren’t really sure how?

What Finucane doesn’t get is that this won’t reduce mass shootings. They’re rare events anyway. They’re also generally the result of law enforcement failures somewhere along the way. It’s not the manufacturers’ fault that these things happen. They build a lawful product that is sold by third-parties who are bound by laws designed to prevent this sort of thing in the first place. Yet these are the people being punished for the failures of police departments, school administrations, and federal agencies.

The anti-gun left looks to be getting their way. However, that’s not true across the board. Wells Fargo is resisting pressure to sever their ties with the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers.

The American Federation of Teachers has threatened to pull its business from Wells Fargo unless it severs ties with the National Rifle Association and gun manufacturers, but so far the bank is resisting.

“We’re issuing Wells Fargo an ultimatum,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a Saturday statement. “They can have a mortgage market that includes America’s teachers, or they can continue to do business with the NRA and gun manufacturers. They can’t do both.”

She released recent correspondence between the union and the bank showing that Wells Fargo CEO Tim Sloan offered to meet with her without acceding to her demand to stop offering loans and other services to the NRA and firearms companies.

“When dealing with the safety of our families, children, and other issues of this magnitude, there are no easy or satisfying solutions,” Mr. Sloan said in an April 3 letter. “In fact, as I have publicly stated, I do not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.”

He declined to confirm or discuss the bank’s relationship with firearms companies, citing customer confidentiality, but Wells Fargo was described as the “go-to bank for gun makers and the NRA” in a March 7 report by Bloomberg, owned by gun-control activist and billionaire Michael Bloomberg.


The thing is, this won’t save any lives. None.

As I keep pointing out, the worst school shooting in American history had a shooter with a couple of handguns. Banning the AR-15, even a de facto ban created because companies can’t get financial services, won’t save any lives. Mass shooters will simply shift to other weapons…

…which will then lead to calls to ban those guns.

Predictable as always. But Wells Fargo deserves support for standing tall in the face of pressure. Good for them.


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