These are the banks financing the assault weapons industry

More than a dozen institutions are bankrolling mass shootings.

An attendee inspects a scope on an assault rifle during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas.  CREDIT: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
An attendee inspects a scope on an assault rifle during the 2013 NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibits at the George R. Brown Convention Center on May 3, 2013 in Houston, Texas. CREDIT: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Since the Parkland shooting, corporations with financial ties to the NRA have been subjected to intense scrutiny. In less than two weeks, consumers have convinced more than 20 companies to end relationships with a gun lobby that has encouraged the proliferation of assault weapons and aggressively blocked virtually all legislation to curb gun violence. 

Less attention has been paid to the banks supporting manufacturers that produce those weapons — especially the semi-automatic assault weapons used at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and in so many other mass shootings.

On February 24, one bank came forward to say it’s reconsidering its own relationship to gun manufacturers.

We are joining other companies in our industry to examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings, and an immediate step we’re taking is to engage the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility,” Bank of America said in a statement to Axios.

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A review of SEC filings and other public records revealed that Bank of America isn’t the only financial institution that finances the production of assault weapons. Five of the largest gun manufacturers are supported by over a dozen banks through varying types of credit arrangements.

ThinkProgress reached out to all of the banks financing Remington Outdoor, Smith & Wesson, Sturm Ruger, Sig Sauer, and Vista Outdoor, the makers of the assault weapons used in Parkland, at Sandy Hook Elementary School, at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, at a church in Texas, and in countless other tragedies.

Banks financing the assault weapons industry
CREDIT: Diana Ofosu

The banks include:

Bank of America

Bank of America has provided lines of credit to Vista Outdoor, Sturm Ruger, and Remington. The bank recently renewed a line of credit with a $40 million maximum to Sturm Ruger until June 15, 2018. It is also financing Remington, the maker of the Bushmaster XM-15 used in Sandy Hook, as the company prepares to file for bankruptcy.

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On February 24, a spokesperson for the bank said that it is engaging “the limited number of clients we have that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility.” On February 26, a Bank of America representative declined to comment on the bank’s next steps.

Bank of Montreal

Bank of Montreal has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor, the maker of the rifle Adam Lanza used to murder his mother before he shot and killed 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Branch Bank & Trust (BB&T)

BB&T has provided lines of credit to Vista Outdoor and Sig Sauer, as well as a a revolving $78 million line of credit to Smith & Wesson (through its parent company American Outdoor Brands Corp). Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Capital One

Capital One has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Citizens Financial Group

Citizens has provided a line of credit to Sig Sauer. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

JPMorgan Chase

JPMorgan Chase has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Morgan Stanley Bank

Morgan Stanley has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

MUFG Bank

MUFG Bank, formerly known as Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UHJ, has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. A representative declined to comment Monday.

Northern Trust Company

Northern Trust has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

People’s United Bank

People’s United Bank has provided lines of credit to Vista Outdoor and Sig Sauer, as well as a $36 million revolving line of credit to Smith & Wesson. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Regions Bank

Regions has provided lines of credit to Vista Outdoor and Sig Sauer, as well as a $78 million revolving line of credit to Smith & Wesson. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Stifel Bank & Trust

Stifel has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

TD Bank

TD has provided a line of credit to Sig Sauer and a revolving $78 million line of credit to Smith & Wesson. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

U.S. Bank

U.S. Bank has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor and a revolving $78 million line of credit to Smith & Wesson.

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Jennifer Dunn, a spokesperson for the bank, told ThinkProgress on February 26 that the bank could not confirm its relationship with gun manufacturers because of client confidentiality rules.

“Like all of you, we at Wells Fargo are deeply saddened and troubled by the recurring gun violence that is touching our communities and schools,” she said in an email. “We respect and encourage the debate our nation is having regarding firearms and public safety, and we believe the best way to resolve this issue is through the political and legislative process, where all Americans have the opportunity to participate. We encourage our team members, our customers, and third parties to work together over the coming days to discuss what additional steps we may take together in support of enhanced public safety.”

Zions First National

Zions Bank has provided a line of credit to Vista Outdoor. Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


Berkshire Bank

Berkshire Bank had previously provided a line of credit to Sig Sauer, the maker of the MCX rifle used at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando to kill 49 people and wound 53. Elizabeth Mach, the bank’s senior vice president and marketing officer, told ThinkProgress on Monday that “as of 18 months ago we are no longer part of this lending group and we have no further lending relationship with Sig Sauer.”

Judd Legum contributed research. This story will be updated as the companies respond to ThinkProgress.