Yesterday, GE Capital issued the following statement:
As a responsible lender, we regularly review our lending policies and products to meet changing conditions and requirements. In 2008, we adopted a policy to cease providing consumer financing programs to merchants whose primary business is to sell firearms.Â Recently, we implemented a more rigorous audit process in our sporting goods segment in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms. This process has affected less than 75 retailers (approx. .001% of all gun retailers) and an immaterial part of our sales volume.
Now I don’t think you should be buying firearms on credit in the first place, but this move by GE isn’t that hard to understand. First off, it mirrors the stance of other lenders such as Bank of America, Citigroup and Well Fargo who also do not provide services to virtually anything firearms related.
Second, GE is led by Jeffrey Immelt, who in addition to being chairman of the board and CEO, is also the head of theÂ Economic Advisory BoardÂ for the Obama administration. To say that this guy isn’t a friend to liberty is putting it mildly. Yes, I know that GE Capital has its own Executive leadership team, but if you think that they don’t take direction from Immelt you might want to reexamine GE’s structure and history.
You can read more on the GE decision here. This short version is that is just the latest effort by the Obama administration to enact gun control outside of Congress (where they failed miserably). I think you can expect this tactic to continue, and I’m afraid even escalate, in the future.