Bank of America, Citi Risk Hit to Their Texas Businesses Over Gun Policies

(Bloomberg) — Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., the top two underwriters in the $3.9 trillion municipal bond-market, are at risk of getting shut out of Texas because of a push by Republican state lawmakers to punish the banks for their restrictive gun policies. The legislation, Senate Bill 19, would block government entities from contracting with banks and other financial services providers that have policies that restrict business with the firearms industry. Under the bill, companies with 10 employees or more seeking a government contract worth at least $100,000 would have to verify in writing that they do not have a policy or directive that “discriminates” against the firearms or ammunition industries. It’s targeted at large banks and financial institutions that have attempted to “use financial pressure to infringe upon our Second Amendment rights,” according to a statement from the sponsors in an analysis of the bill. The legislation is in flux: it already passed the state Senate and is pending in the Texas House of Representatives. While a House companion bill includes language that would exempt debt sales and the “deposit or investment of funds,” the author in that chamber didn’t pursue adding that exemption in the Senate version. “Any company that uses financial pressure in order to limit Texans’ ability to purchase guns or ammunition should not be tolerated,” Senator Charles Schwertner, an author of the legislation, said in a committee hearing on the bill earlier this month. The Texas move to punish the banks comes […]

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