Banks Tried to Curb Gun Sales. Now Republicans Are Trying to Stop Them.

Banks Tried to Curb Gun Sales. Now Republicans Are Trying to Stop Them.

Gary Neill When Congress decided not to take significant action after a spate of mass shootings this year and last, some big banks opted to take matters into their own hands by restricting financing for gun sellers. Now, Republican lawmakers are pressing regulators to stop banks from doing so, over concerns they are veering too far into social activism. The issue has put the Republican Party in the awkward position of choosing between its embrace of free markets and its concerns over infringement of the Second Amendment, even as the school-shooting crisis has persisted with the deadly attack at Santa Fe High School in Texas on May 18 and the wounding of at least two people Friday at a middle school in Indiana. Guns are creating a rare rift between Republicans and the financial industry, which has been among the party’s biggest contributors. “If you’re going to turn us into a nation of red banks and blue banks, you’re making a mistake,” Senator John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican and member of the banking committee, said in a recent interview before the latest shooting. “Don’t come crying to us when you screw up and you want the American taxpayer to bail you out.” Mr. Kennedy said he planned to file complaints with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau against banks that are effectively restricting gun sales by setting their own rules on legal products and refusing to do business with gun makers and retailers that do not comply. He is also […]

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