'We all know that something needs to change': Citi revises firearms policy

The company mandates that Citi clients and partners avoid selling firearms to customers under age 21 or those who haven't passed a background check.

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

Citi unveiled its revised U.S. commercial firearms policy in a blog post on Thursday morning, saying its goal is to prevent guns "from getting into the wrong hands."

"As a society, we all know that something needs to change," said Ed Skyler, EVP of global public affairs at Citi, in the blog post. "And as a company, we feel we must do our part."

The new policy mandates that Citi clients and partners avoid selling firearms to customers who haven’t passed a background check or those under the age of 21, as well as to stop selling bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.

The policy change applies to small businesses, commercial and institutional clients, and credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label, according to the blog post.

"If they opt not to, we will respect their decision and work with them to transition their business away from Citi," Skyler said.

The bank will begin discussions with the few gun manufacturers with which it partners to probe their product and distribution networks, according to The New York Times, which credited Citi as the first Wall Street bank to take a stance on the divisive issue. The bank also said its decision "is not centered on an ideological mission to rid the world of firearms," adding that it respects the rights of gun owners.

Since the February 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, several companies have changed their gun-related policies. Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would stop selling high-capacity magazines and assault-style weapons, a stance quickly followed by Walmart. In late February, First National Bank of Omaha said it would cease issuing NRA-branded Visa cards.

Delta Air Lines also decided to eliminate discounts for NRA members in the days after the Parkland shooting. Pro-NRA Republican lawmakers in the carrier’s home state of Georgia voted days later to eliminate a tax break that would have benefitted the airline.

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