Divide On Punishing Banks Cutting Ties With Gun Industry

Citigroup and Bank of America are cutting ties with the gun industry because recent mass shootings and Republican lawmakers are deciding whether or not these banks should be punished.

There’s a large divide (even in Texas), just in time for Dallas hosting the National Rifle Association’s annual convention.

The question is whether to cancel government contracts with financial institutions that are removing themselves from the firearms market. But it’s smart to be wary about playing with the business decisions of a private entity.

This week in Dallas, senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz and Governor Greg Abbott will join President Donald Trump at the NRA convention during a wild time in the nation’s gun control debate.

Citibank announced recently that retail clients would have to put age restrictions and various limitations on any gun sales. Bank of America was quoted, saying they would not “underwrite or finance military-style firearms.”

These big banks have gotten the attention of pro-gun conservatives, thus the divide begins.

One side of the spectrum has an intense point of view, burning bridges in their wake. For example, some House Republicans wrote a letter last month to the General Services Administration requesting the cancellation of a $700 billion contract with Citigroup. Bank of America could see similar repercussions.

After this and other threats, banks have not backed down. Citibank wants to “prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands.”

However, some Republicans are taking a softer stance against the banks, not wanting to intrude into financial institutions. These people believe that people will choose what banks they want to do business with and that, hopefully, a loss of business will “talk some sense” into banks like Citibank and Bank of America.

Will more banks err on the side of caution or will they join the fight against guns? Only time will tell.

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