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Citigroup Restricts Gun Sales by Its Business Customers

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Citigroup Inc. plans to prohibit retailers that are customers of the bank from offering bump stocks or selling guns to people who haven’t passed a background check or are younger than 21.

The bank is imposing the restrictions on companies that use it to issue store credit cards or for lending and other services, according to a memo Thursday. The lender also barred the sale of high-capacity magazines.

“The policy was designed to respect the rights of responsible gun owners while helping to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” Citigroup CEO Mike Corbat said in the memo to staff. “It is clear to me that most people believe there are areas of agreement and practical changes we can make to find common ground.”

(Related: BlackRock Puts Pressure on Gun Industry)

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Citigroup is the first major banking institution to set restrictions on the firearms industry. Some retailers have already scaled back on the sale of firearms since the Feb. 14 mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school left 17 dead.

Corbat, who described himself as a responsible gun owner, said the bank would also engage with firearm manufacturers that are customers.

Walmart Inc. and Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. said they will no longer sell guns to those under the age of 21 and Dick’s dropped the sale of assault-style rifles entirely. Orvis Co., an outdoor goods company, said customers will either need to be 21 or show proof of a hunter education and safety course to purchase a firearm.

A variety of companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association, the gun industry lobby, in the last month. YouTube announced tighter restrictions on videos involving firearms on Monday, and Reddit on Wednesday banned a variety of communities related to the sale of guns.