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Bank of America plans to stop lending to companies that make military-style firearms for civilian use nearly two months after a shooting at a Florida high school left 17 people dead, a company executive told Bloomberg Television on Tuesday.
“It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use,” Anne Finucane, a vice chairman at Bank of America, told Bloomberg. “We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings.”
Finucane said Bank of America works with “just a handful” of gun manufacturers and that reactions to the bank’s decision have been “mixed.”
“There are those that will reduce their portfolios, and we’ll work with them, and others that will do something else,” she told the news station.
The decision makes the bank the second to announce changes in how it deals with gun-industry clients in the wake of the deadly shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to Reuters. Citigroup officials announced last month that the bank would bar business customers from selling to buyers without running background checks first and from selling bump stocks or high-capacity magazines, among other restrictions.
Several businesses also announced policy changes amid a renewed national gun debate sparked by the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High. Officials said the gunman behind that attack legally bought the AR-15 rifle he used to gun down students and staff members at his former alma mater.
Officials with supermarket chain Kroger announced earlier this year that it would no longer sell firearms at any of its 43 Freed Meyer stores in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. The company previously sold assault-style rifles in three states – Oregon, Washington and Idaho – but stopped several years ago, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Dick's Sporting Goods, one of the nation's largest sports retailers, halted its sales of assault-style rifles or high-capacity magazines after the shooting. The company also raised its minimum gun purchase age to 21.
Retail giant Walmart, one of the nation's largest sellers of guns and ammunition, also raised the minimum age to buy firearms in its stores to 21. The retailer had stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2015, according to officials.