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Gun manufacturers are losing the support of corporate America. Photo: Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty Images

Banks, financial institutions and retail stores are all pushing back against the gun industry by taking steps to slow the sale of firearms and blocking the industry's financial options in response to the United States' continued problems with mass shootings.

The big picture: Second Amendment advocates fear that Corporate America's pushback against the gun industry could be a backdoor way — without legislation or a constitutional amendment — to roll back Americans' gun rights.

The state of play: Corporate entities are hesitant to support gun manufacturers and sellers as today's social media age of instant reactions increasingly demands that corporations take a stand on social issues.

  • Payment processing firms are limiting firearm transactions, per the Chicago Tribune.
  • Some financial institutions, including the Bank of America and Citigroup, have both restricted their business with gun manufacturers and buyers in recent months.
  • Walmart raised the age requirement to purchase firearms to 21 in February.
  • Dick's Sporting Goods also raised its minimum age to purchase firearms to 21 — and banned the sale of assault-style weapons.

The other side: Gun advocates are concerned that, even if the Second Amendment doesn't change, changing attitudes on firearms will eventually render the right to bear arms useless.

If you can't make guns, if you can't sell guns, the Second Amendment doesn't mean much.
— Michael Hammond, legal counsel for Gun Owners of America, to the Chicago Tribune
  • Republican Sen. Mike Crapo (Idaho) wrote to Citigroup saying there should be concern "if banks like yours seek to replace legislators."

The effect: Gun manufacturers have been feeling the pressure. Remington, one of the nation's largest gun makers, has been in and out of bankruptcy over the last few months and struggled with its banks.

The bottom line: For major corporations, the fear of being the next company implicated in a mass shooting is a driving force.

  • Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack told The New York Times after Parkland: "[I]t came to us that we could have been a part of this story ... We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer."

Go deeper

The Mischief Makers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Several Republican and Democratic lawmakers are emerging as troublemakers within their parties and political thorns for their leadership.

Why it matters: We're calling this group "The Mischief Makers" — members who threaten to upend party unity — the theme eclipsing Washington at the moment — and potentially jeopardize the Democrats' or Republicans' position heading into the 2022 midterms.

18 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Obama speechwriter fears Biden unity drive is one-sided

Cody Keenan (right) is shown heading to Marine One in December 2009. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Obama's former speechwriter says he's "preemptively frustrated" with President Biden's effort to find unity with Republicans.

What they're saying: Cody Keenan told Axios that Biden's messaging team has "struck all the right chords," but at some point "they're gonna have to answer questions like, 'Why didn't you achieve unity?' when there's an entire political party that's already acting to stop it."

Scoop: Conservative group puts $700k behind Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley explains his objection to certifying the 2020 election results hours after the U.S. Capitol siege. Photo: Congress.gov via Getty Images

A Republican group is raising and spending huge amounts of money defending Sen. Josh Hawley after he was ostracized for early January’s attack on the U.S. Capitol.

Why it matters: The Senate Conservatives Fund is backfilling lost corporate and personal donations with needed political and financial support, helping inoculate the Missouri lawmaker as he weighs re-election or a possible presidential campaign in 2024.