By Deon Roberts, The Charlotte Observer
Bank of America has become the latest company to insert itself into the debate over gun laws in the wake of this month’s school shooting in Florida.
The Charlotte-based bank said it is taking the immediate step of reaching out to clients that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use, “to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility.”
“We are joining other companies in our industry to examine what we can do to help end the tragedy of mass shootings,” the bank said in a statement.
Bank of America said it has a “limited” number of such clients but declined to provide further details on those clients or the bank’s plans.
The moves comes as the National Rifle Association faces a growing backlash as companies sever ties with the gun industry following the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Other companies discontinuing relationships with the NRA includes Delta and United Airlines, the first and third largest U.S.-based airline companies by revenue, respectively. Delta and United said Saturday they will no longer offer discounted fares to NRA members to attend their annual meetings, and both have asked the gun rights group to remove any references to their companies from the NRA website.
American Airlines, which is based in Texas but has its second-busiest hub in Charlotte, said in a statement that it does not offer discounted group travel rates to the NRA. The company added that it is “actively seeking the best way to support” the shooting victims and their community, but it did not provide specifics.
Rental car company Hertz said it will no longer offer a discount program to NRA members, and First National Bank of Omaha said it will not renew a co-branded credit card it has with the NRA. Insurance company MetLife also discontinued its discount program with the NRA on Friday.
In addition, car rental company Enterprise Holdings, which also owns Alamo and National, has said it was cutting off discounts for NRA members.
Other companies, including Wyndham Hotels and Best Western hotels, have let social media users know they are no longer affiliated with the NRA, though they did not make clear when the partnerships ended.
Bank of America, which employs about 15,000 people in the Charlotte region, is the second-largest U.S. bank by assets.
The Associated Press contributed.