by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Wells Fargo issued a new $40 million line of credit to the gun company Sturm, Ruger & Co. last week bucking the trend of big banks taking adversarial stands toward the gun industry.
The new line of credit is in addition to the $431 million worth of financing the bank has given to gun companies since 2012, according to Bloomberg News. The line of credit indicates Wells Fargo is not backing down from its assertion in a letter to an activist group demanding they break off business with gun companies that the bank does “not believe that the American public wants banks to decide which legal products consumers can and cannot buy.” The bank said it continues to advocate that any changes to what legal products gun companies can manufacture or sell should come through the legislative process instead of the financial industry.
“Wells Fargo wants schools and communities to be safe from gun violence, but changes to laws and regulations should be determined through a legislative process that gives the American public an opportunity to participate and not be arbitrarily set by a bank,” Trisha Schultz, a Wells Fargo spokesperson, told the Washington Free Beacon.
Wells Fargo’s approach runs counter to that of some other financial institutions that have fully embraced using their business to pressure gun companies into implementing certain gun-control measures.