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Shareholders who are upset about banks distancing themselves from financing gun manufacturers in response to deadly school shootings are "free to leave" them, Rep. Jeb Hensarling said Tuesday.
The Texas Republican, who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, said private institutions, including large national banks, should be able to have their own culture. However, he questioned the banks' motives besides recent school shootings.
Citigroup said it will require its clients to sell guns only to customers who have passed a background check and restrict sales to those under the age of 21. BofA said it will stop lending to manufacturers of military-style firearms.
"Anybody who believes in the Second Amendment is free not to do business with Citi and free not to do business BofA," Hensarling, who is not seeking re-election, said in a "Squawk Box" interview. "There are plenty of other banks out there who respect the Second Amendment perhaps even more."
Hensarling spoke to CNBC four days after the high school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, which left 10 people are dead and 10 wounded. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said the suspect had a shotgun and .38-caliber revolver, which appeared to be legally owned by the suspect's father.
Hensarling, who said he is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment, called for actions that would prohibit people with mental illness from gaining access to guns as well as people with criminal records, in line with what many of his Republican colleagues have said.
He also said states should examine laws that would hold parents accountable for failing to secure their firearms, but he did not provide a possible solution.
"Surely, as a society, we have to say enough's enough. But we have to do something that is comprehensive," said Hensarling. He insisted that law-abiding citizens should be able to keep guns. "With the exception of trampling on our Constitution, everything has to be on the table."