Bank of America executives assured families of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting victims that they’re committed to cutting ties with “assault” rifle makers and said the bank sold its interests in Remington Outdoor Company.
Several execs met with more than a dozen families last week to discuss the bank’s commitment to changing company policy for lending to gun businesses. The families had questioned BoA’s sincerity after news broke the bank would lend some $43.2 million to Remington as it emerged from bankruptcy.
Attendants at the meeting told The Sun-Sentinel they were satisfied with the outcome. “We had a great meeting,” said Fred Guttenberg, the father of victim Jaime Guttenberg, 14. “The good news is that Remington is no longer part of their [investment] portfolio.”
Guttenberg has been an outspoken critic of the National Rifle Association and the gun industry for fighting against new gun policies and defending current regulatory standards. He was one of the parents who filed suit against gun maker Smith & Wesson, which manufactured the rifle used in the February attack.
While it appeared BoA neglected its pledge by loaning monies to Remington, bank execs chalked it up to bad timing. BoA and Remington had already negotiated the loan before BoA’s announcement.
Remington announced it would filed for chapter 11 protections mere days before the attack in Parkland, Florida in which a 19-year-old gunman murdered 17 people and injured 17 others. In response to the shooting, students and victims across the country led demonstrations against the gun industry that resulted in sweeping changes for many businesses. BoA joined, saying it would no longer lend to gun makers of military firearms for civilians “on a go-forward basis.”