Citigroup became the first Wall Street bank to take a stance in the gun control debate this week by implementing new restrictions on the sale of firearms by its business customers.
The new policy, announced on Thursday, prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed background checks and who are under the age of 21. It also prohibits the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines.
In an email to employees that was provided to Infowars, Citigroup Chief Executive Officer Mike Corbat explained that the new company policies apply to “small business, commercial and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners.”
The rules, which Citigroup claims are “common-sense measures,” follow the trend of other major retailers such as Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Companies’ decisions have ultimately resulted in backlash and a noticeable decrease in sales stemming from customer boycotts.
In the employee email, Corbat explained that retail clients who refuse to enact Citi’s “best practices over the coming months” would be able to work with the bank in order to “transition their business away.”
Any potential new clients would also be screened to ensure their businesses adhere to Citi’s new policies.
On the new rules, Corbat, who calls himself “an avid outdoorsman and responsible gun owner,”stressed that these new rules are a good compromise for both Second Amendment advocates and those in support of stricter gun laws.
“We don’t have the perfect solution to supporting our Constitution while keeping our children and grandchildren safe,” he wrote, adding: “But we shouldn’t let that stop us from doing our part.”
In an interview with The New York Times, Corbart was prepared for any potential backlash, admitting that “some will find our policy too strict while others will find it too lenient.”
“We don’t pretend that these answers are perfect, but as we looked at the things we thought we could influence, we felt that, working with our clients, we could make a difference,” he said. “Banks serve a societal purpose — we believe our investors want us to do this and be responsible corporate citizens.”
For now, the company said it would not enforce a specific deadline, but instead hopes that all of of its clients would adhere to the gun restrictions within the next few months. Members of its corporate citizenship group will also check in regularly on partners’ gun-selling procedures, the company said.