GE Capital pulls gun store lending
GE Capital, General Electric's lending arm, has stopped offering consumer financing programs to US retailers whose main business is selling guns, in response to "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events".
The move, said a GE Capital spokesman, expanded on a policy established in 2008. That year, GE Capital stopped offering new consumer financing for purchases of guns from gun shops, but existing relationships with gun shops were grandfathered in and those programs continued.
Fewer than 75 retailers are affected by the recent policy change, a fraction of 1 per cent of gun retailers in the US, said the spokesman, Russell Wilkerson.
The terminated financing programs, as a business, were "immaterial" to the company, he said.
The lending cutoff applies only to retailers whose primary business is selling guns. GE Capital is still offering financing to other retailers who sell many kinds of merchandise, including guns. Those retailers range from Wal-Mart to sporting goods chains.
The move by GE Capital comes in the aftermath of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.
General Electric, the giant industrial and finance company, is headquartered in Connecticut, and some employees have children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where the tragedy occurred.
Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook gunman, was the son of Peter Lanza, an executive at GE.