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Sen. Schatz urges banks to take stand against gun violence


    U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, a ranking member of the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet, holding a hearing on the false missile alert in April.

U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Dianne Feinstein today called on U.S. financial institutions to take a stand against gun violence.

“Financial institutions can have an important role in establishing standards that foster safer firearm policies and prevent future mass shootings and tragedies in the communities you serve,” the senators wrote in a letter. “With nearly 115,000 Americans shot each year, nearly 34,000 fatally, we support efforts by some financial institutions to adopt measures to ensure safe firearm sales and transactions are made by their clients.”

In their letters, which were addressed to major financial institutions including Wells Fargo and Morgan Stanley, the senators highlighted the importance of corporate responsibility and urged the companies to adopt gun safety policies for its business customers, including rules that would:

>> Require background checks on all gun sales, including intrastate online sales;

>> Raise the minimum age of gun sales to 21;

>> Prevent the practice of buyers using other people to purchase guns to conceal their identity, also known as straw purchases; and

>> Prohibit the sale of high-capacity magazines, bump stocks, and assault-style weapons.

Following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that claimed 17 lives, the senators pointed out that new policies to address gun violence have been adopted by major retailers and banks, including Walmart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Citibank, and Bank of America.

Schatz and Feinstein were joined by U.S. Senators Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawai‘i), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), and Kamala Harris (D-Calif.).

The letters were also sent to TD Securities, JPMorgan, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, US Bancorp, Cowen & Co, BB&T, Regions Financial, BNP Paribas, and PNC Financial Services Group.

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