Citibank announced on Thursday that it would no longer do business with anyone who sells guns to any person under 21-years-old as well as anyone who sells so-called high capacity magazines.
The bank, which nearly failed in 2008 but was saved by a massive taxpayer-funded bailout and now boasts a market capitalization of over $180 billion, said it wants to prevent guns from getting into the hands of the wrong people. It said it would be implementing a new policy directed at all the businesses with which it deals.
"So [sic] our new policy centers around current firearms sales best practices that will guide those we do business with as a firm," a post on the company's website said.
The new policy would require that any company using Citibank financial services "restrict the sale of firearms for individuals under 21 years of age" and stop selling "bump stocks or high-capacity magazines." The company did not specify what they believe constitutes a "high-capacity" magazine and did not immediately respond to multiple requests for clarification. Citibank did not answer whether it feared the blanket age requirement might lead to discrimination lawsuits like those Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods are facing after implementing similar corporate policies.
"Sorry I don’t have a comment on those questions at this time," Citibank spokesperson Rob Runyan told the Washington Free Beacon.
The bank said its new policy would apply to all kinds of business clients.
"This policy will apply across the firm, including to small business, commercial, and institutional clients, as well as credit card partners, whether co-brand or private label," the post said.
It said, however, that those with Citibank credit cards would still be able to purchase the products the company views as being responsible for "heartbreaking losses" and by those whose age the company appears to believe makes them too dangerous to own firearms.
"It doesn't impact the ability of consumers to use their Citi cards at merchants of their choice," it said.
The bank, which hopes to recruit other financial institutions to adopt its gun-ban policies, said its decision isn't anti-gun or ideological.
"Today, our CEO announced Citi is instituting a new U.S. Commercial Firearms Policy," the post said. "It is not centered on an ideological mission to rid the world of firearms. That is not what we seek."
It went on to say it respects Americans' constitutional rights to own firearms.
"There are millions of Americans who use firearms for recreational and other legitimate purposes, and we respect their Constitutional right to do so," the company said.
Citibank said, however, it will work to pressure other financial companies to adopt the same policy banning the legal sale of guns to those under 21, despite that group's constitutional right to own firearms.
"We recognize that we don't have all the answers and that existing technology in our industry doesn't allow for a more targeted approach at points of sale," the bank said. "For that reason, we would like to convene those in the financial services industry and other stakeholders to tackle these challenges together and see what we can do."
Citibank said it hopes "to leverage collective action to encourage responsible practices by all who sell firearms" by forcing them not to sell to anyone under 21 or sell so-called, but undefined, high-capacity magazines.
The bank said it expected the new policy banning sales of guns to a large swath of American adults to "invite passion on both sides." However, Citibank said the ban on purchases by any adult under 21 was necessary to "keep guns out of the hands of those who wish to do harm."
UPDATE 8:23 P.M.: This post has been updated to reflect comment from Citibank.