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Bank of America will no longer lend to gun manufacturers

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WASHINGTON (Circa) -- Bank of America's vice chairman announced in an interview with Bloomberg that the bank will no longer lend money to gun manufacturers of "military style firearms."

“It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use,” Anne Finucane, a vice chairman at Bank of America, said in the interview. “We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings.”

Bloomberg reports this is the first time an executive from the company has revealed their plans for dealing with the gun industry. Citigroup announced in March they would no longer associate with retail chains that offer bump stocks or sell guns to youth under 21.

Republican Sen. John Kennedy responded to Citigroup's move by sending the company a letter saying, "the very fact that Citi remains operational is due entirely to the generosity of the American taxpayers."

The National Shooting Sports Foundation criticized Bank of America's move and said they would like to be part of the discussion regarding lending to manufacturers.

“We as an industry would welcome the opportunity to sit down with Bank of America executives and explain our industry’s perspective to discuss what really would work to keep firearms out of the hands of those who should not have them,” said Michael Bazinet, a spokesman for the NSSF told Bloomberg.

The Brady Campaign told The Washington Post they were happy to see the bank's response.

“We were heartened to see Bank of America join the list of companies stepping up to keep America safe, especially when Washington politicians are failing to take action,” Avery Gardiner, co-president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence said. “Why would anyone want to help finance assault weapons that are regularly used in mass shootings? The gun violence epidemic in this country is a uniquely American problem and it’s encouraging to see America’s corporate giants take a leading role in this fight.”

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In February, Bank of America released a statement saying they would come up with a way to respond to the Parkland, Fla. shooting that left 17 students dead.

“An immediate step we’re taking is to engage the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for nonmilitary use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility,” the bank said.

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