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GE Capital Stops Lending to Gun Sellers

The financial unit of General Electric, GE Capital, is going to stop financing gun shops, according to a Wednesday report in The Wall Street Journal.

GE Capital actually began pulling away from this business back in 2008, when it stopped taking on new customers. Now existing customers, who were grandfathered in, are being sent letters saying that GE Capital is no longer in this business, according to the Journal.

This isn't exactly surprising. GE Capital is based right next to Newtown, Conn.

From the Journal:

GE is based in Fairfield, Conn., and many of 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.

A GE Capital spokesman tells the Journal that the exit from gun financing was spurred by "industry changes, new legislation and tragic events."

There is some room to question how deep GE Capital's commitment to not financing gun sellers really goes. The company is apparently shutting down financing for stores whose primary business is gun sales. That means giant retailers like Walmart, which sells plenty of guns, won't be affected. The little guy loses out again.

Or maybe not. If the past is any guide, the latest news may only spur gun enthusiasts to purchase more guns. There are several independent companies that provide financing for gun purchases, including some that tout things like "No Credit Check Financing." You have to wonder if we're better off pushing gun financing out of GE Capital and into the shadows.

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Wall Street