Bank fears guilt by association with bump stocks

By: - June 15, 2018 2:04 pm

Companies wary of liability may be the next weapon in the effort to regulate guns.

story in The Trace says Utah’s Merrick Bank withheld $1.6 million from bump stock inventor and manufacturer Slide Fire after the shooting massacre on the Las Vegas Strip last year in which 58 people were killed and upwards of 800 were injured.   The bank has a credit card merchant account and agreement with Slide Fire that allows it to withhold money for returned merchandise.
lawsuit filed by Slide Fire alleges the bank is holding its money “hostage,” but the bank argues it’s justified given the potential liability threats to Slide Fire in light of the role bump stocks played in the mass shooting.
“Experts say the suit may be the latest sign that financial institutions are deciding that dealing with the firearms industry is more trouble than it’s worth – either in terms of liability, or bad press,” the story says.
Bump stocks allow semiautomatic weapons to perform like automatic weapons.  Lawsuits have been filed against Slide Fire in the wake of the Las Vegas shooting, the most deadly in modern history.
The story says legal experts maintain the chance of the bank being held liable for the shooting is slim but even the slimmest chance could give banks and other companies pause when it comes to doing business with weapons manufacturers.

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.