Interesting development I don't think has been diaried:
General Electric is quietly cutting off lending to gun shops, as the company rethinks its relationship to firearms amid the fallout from the school shooting in Newtown, Conn.The decision may have had some "close-to-home" elements:
This month, Glenn Duncan, owner of Duncan's Outdoor Store in Bay City, Mich., said he received a letter from GE Capital Retail Bank in which the lender said it had made "the difficult decision" to stop providing financing services to his store. Other gun dealers have received similar notices.
"Industry changes, new legislation and tragic events" led GE Capital to reexamine its policies on financing firearms, spokesman Russell Wilkerson said.
The company's exit has little overall impact in a U.S. gun market, where sales last year totaled $11.7 billion, according to IBIS World. While a typical handgun can cost more than $300, financing remains a marginal activity.
GE's ban applies only to retailers whose sole business is selling firearms, an "insignificant and immaterial" part of GE Capital's business, Mr. Wilkerson said. The lender is still doing business with merchants with more diverse lines of business [e.g., Wal-Mart, Dick's Sporting Goods]
The moves highlight how companies, closely attuned to the concerns of investors and employees, have reacted to public horror caused by the attacks, even as complicated political considerations doomed new gun-control legislation in the Congress.Read the whole piece for more information on the gun financing business.
GE is based in Fairfield, Conn., and many of the GE's employees live around Newtown, and several have children in the Sandy Hook elementary school, where the shootings took place. Peter Lanza, the father of Sandy Hook gunman Adam Lanza, is an executive at GE Capital. GE Chief Executive Jeff Immelt held a town hall meeting with affected employees after the shooting, and the board has been updated on efforts to help staff, a person familiar with the matter said.