Trump Administration Plans New Admin Rule as Going Away Present for the Gun Lobby

December 15, 2020

New Rule Will Make it Much Harder for Banks to Refuse Business to Gunmakers

WASHINGTON -- Guns Down America, a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America, released the following statement after a new report that the Trump Administration is working to force through an unprecedented new administrative rule that “would make it much harder for banks to deny services to gun makers, sellers, and distributors.”

According to the Trace, “If the rule is finalized, banks with $100 billion or more in assets — the 22 largest banks in the country — would have a harder time ending existing relationships with gun manufacturers and denying them access to new financial services.”

“It’s outrageous that the Trump Administration is trying desperate new moves to interfere with banks’ internal business decisions and prop up the gun lobby on their way out the door,” said Igor Volsky, Founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America. “Many banks have scaled back their work with the gun lobby because they know the overwhelming majority of Americans want a safer country with fewer guns, and customers want a bank that shares their values. This rule, if it becomes official, will only make the gun lobby richer and our nation more dangerous.”

The Trace noted that the rule is opposed by the Bank Policy Institute, which says the rule has no legal basis. “While the rule attempts to limit such decisions to assessments based just on financial metrics, the reality is that financial institutions have been cutting ties in large part because of financial concerns,” noted the Trace.

In May, 2018, Reuters reported that gun maker Remington exited bankruptcy thanks to a $43 million bailout from Bank of America. Just days later, according to media reports, the shooter in Santa Fe, Texas used a Remington-made firearm to kill 10 people and injured 13 more. Remington was also the company that made the AR-15 style weapon used at Sandy Hook to kill 26 people, including 20 first grade students.

That led to Guns Down America calling on Bank of America to follow through on the pledge made after Parkland, end the Remington bailout, and take real steps to fight gun violence. In 2019, Guns Down American launched “Is Your Bank Loaded,” a scorecard evaluating banks on their gun violence prevention policies. Following the Is Your Bank Loaded campaign, Wells Fargo announced its relationship with the NRA was declining.