Citibank has announced that it will request its clients observe certain gun control measures in order to become clients, or partner with the bank. The regulations will apply only to new customers.
Citibank will require new retail clients to not sell firearms to anyone who hasn’t passed a background check, restrict firearm sales to anyone under twenty-one years of age and not sell either bump stocks or high-capacity magazines. The announcement was made in a blog post on the company’s corporate website by Ed Skyler, Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs at the firm.
“For too many years, in too many places, our country has seen acts of gun violence that have resulted in heartbreaking losses,” the statement read. “Over the same amount of time, we have waited for our grief to turn into action and see our nation adopt common-sense measures that would help prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands. That action has sadly never come and as the weeks pass after the most recent mass shooting, it appears we are stuck in the same cycle of tragedy and inaction.”
“As a society, we all know that something needs to change. And as a company, we feel we must do our part,” it added.
The bank sought to reassure gun-rights activists that it was not seeking a firearms ban. The new regulation, Skyler wrote, “is not centered on an ideological mission to rid the world of firearms. That is not what we seek. There are millions of Americans who use firearms for recreational and other legitimate purposes, and we respect their Constitutional right to do so.”
“But we want to do our part as a company to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands. So our new policy centers around current firearms sales best practices that will guide those we do business with as a firm,” he wrote.
Gun control activists applauded the move. President of Everytown for Gun Safety John Feinblatt wrote in a statement to ITN, “We commend Citigroup for doing the right thing and taking meaningful steps to ensure public safety. The public overwhelmingly supports common-sense measures to keep us safe, and the policies announced by Citigroup reflect the values of their customers and all Americans.”
Only one piece of legislation has moved through Congress in the five weeks since seventeen people, mostly students, were killed in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting last month in Parkland, FL.
The so-called FixNICS bill, a provision that incentivizes states to do a better job of keeping the background system updated with the latest information about individuals who should be prevented from purchasing firearms, was included in a massive $1.3 trillion spending bill that the President signed into law earlier today.
The bill included the FixNICS provision but did not include the concealed-carry “reciprocity” bill, which allows the cross-honoring of concealed-carry permits by all states. Conservatives had considered the reciprocity measure a counter-balance to the FixNICS provision and were angered when it was excluded from the final bill.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions directed the Department of Justice to ban the accessory known as the bump stock earlier this month. Other measures, including bills expanding background checks and issuing protective orders against gun possession, have also been introduced. It is unclear when, of if, any additional gun-related bills will be voted on in Congress.