GE Capital Ends Financing for Gun Retailers

by
posted on April 25, 2015
sinews.jpg (21)

This week it was reported by major media outlets that GE Capital Retail Bank, the financial unit of General Electric Co., has quietly stopped offering its lending services to firearms retailers across the country, informing dealers by letter and e-mail it will no longer provide financing for customers purchasing guns using in-store credit programs.

The move was viewed by most observers as company posturing—grandstanding, if you will—as part of the current debate centered at statehouses and on Capitol Hill over the proposed implementation of restrictive firearms laws in the wake of recent tragic events. However, its true impact on firearms buyers and the gun industry is, well, trivial, at best.

According an April 24 report by The Wall Street Journal, GE Capital Retail Bank, based in Fairfield, CT, implemented the new policy "in light of industry changes, new legislation and tragic events that have caused widespread reexamination of policies on firearms."

However, the statement from GE Capital spokesman Russell Wilkerson also contained the ironic admission that his company's action was basically meaningless.

That's because gun sales are an "insignificant and immaterial" part of the company's business, Wilkerson acknowledged.

GE Capital Finance ceased providing consumer financing for new gun-shop customers in 2008, and recently extended the policy to existing customers. As a result, this week's decision affects fewer than 75 retailers nationwide.

Currently, just fewer than 60,000 retailers are licensed as federally licensed firearms dealers (FFLs) in the U.S., according to the latest BATFE statistics.

Therefore, the company's change of policy may affect less than .001 percent of all gun retailers in the country.

Further, in what may verify the new policy's stated intent as disingenuous, GE Capital's changes affect only FFL retailers that sell firearms exclusively, not general merchandise stores such as Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods and others that sell high volumes of firearms, ammunition and shooting accessories.

Latest

Taurus Defender .357 Mag.
Taurus Defender .357 Mag.

New for 2022: Taurus Defender .357 Mag. Revolver

Taurus improved upon its popular Model 605 with practical, concealed-carry-oriented features. The Defender features a longer barrel and enhanced sights than the original Model 605.

New for 2022: Blackhawk Adds Concealed-Carry Options

Blackhawk added to its Stache line with two new off-body carry options designed for comfort and concealment.

New for 2022: Taurus G3X Hybrid Compact Pistol

Taurus, listening to customer feedback, introduced the new G3X pistol, which falls between a compact and a full-size.

New for 2022: Bushnell Introduces Two New Micro Red-Dot Sights

Bushnell introduced the new RXC-200 and RXU-200 MRDS optics at the 2022 SHOT Show.

New For 2022: Winchester Ammunition Expands USA Ready Lineup

Winchester Ammunition expanded its popular, affordable USA Ready line with three new calibers in both competition and defense loads.

Six New Rifles from SHOT Show 2022

Contributor Frank Melloni scoured Industry Day at the Range at SHOT Show 2022 for cool new rifles. Here are six that caught his attention.

Interests



Get the best of Shooting Illustrated delivered to your inbox.