BREAKING: The NRA is Now Too Toxic For the “Go-To” Bank for Gunmakers and the NRA
April 29, 2020
Now is the time for more banks -- especially Truist -- to follow suit
WASHINGTON -- Guns Down America released the following statement after media reports that Wells Fargo, called the “go-to” bank in 2018 for the NRA and the gun industry, is “winding down” its relationship with the scandal-plagued National Rifle Association.
“We applaud Wells Fargo for listening to their customers and Americans across the country in prioritizing the lives of their account holders over profits from business deals with the National Rifle Association,” said Igor Volsky, Executive Director of Guns Down America. “Wells Fargo deserves credit for incorporating gun violence prevention into their business decisions and we will work tirelessly to make sure that other financial institutions follow suit."
Last year Guns Down America created “Is Your Bank Loaded,” a new campaign to push the nation’s largest consumer banks to stop doing business with the gun industry and its lobby. The research used to develop the “Is Your Bank Loaded” scorecard found that household brands used by millions of Americans have deep financial relationships with gun makers and the gun lobby’s top political allies.
Using this data, Guns Down America graded the banks on a 100-point scale and assigned each financial institution a letter grade that measures their relationships to the gun industry.
Following the campaign launch, GDA worked with its coalition partners and key lawmakers to pressure banks to reassess their business relationships with the gun industry and its lobby, and motivated tens of thousands of Americans across the country to contact their banks through IsYourBankLoaded.org and demanded that they stop doing business with firearm manufacturers and the NRA.
Truist predecessor BB&T was already one of the 15 largest banks in the United States (by consolidated assets), with more than $200 billion in assets before merging with SunTrust Bank. BB&T also received an “F” for its poor track record of doing business with the gun industry.
BB&T arranged millions in financing to gun manufacturers like Smith & Wesson, whose assault weapon was used by the shooter in Parkland, Florida to kill 17 people. Guns Down America sent testimony to the FDIC raising concerns about the BB&T/SunTrust merger, particularly in light of BB&T’s long history of doing business with the firearm industry.
In addition, Guns Down America has led successful campaigns calling on corporate America to support a future with fewer guns. Previously Guns Down America partnered with Color of Change on a successful campaign that ended the NRA’s murder insurance policies.