GE capital loans gun shops
Scott Olson/Getty Images
By Ernest Scheyder

General Electric discovered it was financing a small number of firearm purchases in the wake of the Newtown, Conn., school shootings -- despite deciding five years ago to avoid the practice -- and moved to stop future loans, the company said on Wednesday.

Many of the conglomerate's employees live in or near Newtown, about 25 miles from GE's Fairfield, Conn., headquarters. Peter Lanza, the father of the Newtown gunman, is a General Electric Co. (GE) executive.

The company's GE Capital unit stopped providing consumer financing in 2008 at retailers whose primary business was firearms, except to less than 75 grandfathered businesses. After Newtown, it stopped financing even those handful of stores, spokesman Russell Wilkerson said Wednesday.

The news was first reported earlier Wednesday by The Wall Street Journal.

The December massacre that killed 20 children and six adults intensified the U.S. debate on guns, with many states and lawmakers pushing for broader background checks on gun buyers and limits on sales of weapons and ammunition.

GE Capital didn't publicly announce the policy change in 2008, but told prospective new customers it was no longer providing the service, Wilkerson added.

The GE Capital loans have typically been for relatively small amounts -- most firearms cost only several hundred dollars -- and have little effect on GE Capital's portfolio.

The checks after the Newtown shootings, which GE said involved a "rigorous audit process," were part of its attempt to distance itself from gun culture.

The Newtown shooting has led to other capital investment changes.

Cerberus Capital Management LP has decided to sell Freedom Group, maker of the Bushmaster rifle used in the Newtown massacre.

Banking sources have told Reuters that major Wall Street firms have been unwilling to finance a bid for Freedom Group, and Cerberus co-founder Stephen Feinberg may end up pursuing a private bid for the brand.

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I'll sell my GE stock and never buy another GE product, won't support a company that violates the second amendment rights and sees fit to punish legal American business while they pay zero taxes and kiss up to OBAMA> LOSERS! works both ways

April 26 2013 at 6:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

GE is as bad as our goverment dummer than a bag of rocks

April 26 2013 at 6:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Type your comment here

April 26 2013 at 6:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What a crock. I guess GE wants to be on my "NO BUY" list. Bye Bye Government Electric.

April 26 2013 at 5:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

insted of selling bushmaster which is simbolic BS to show comitment they should shut it down junk the machinery raze the plant lock all patents in a n nonrevocable trust deed the land to the town as open space so they recive no financel gain from it NOW THAT WOULD BE A COMINMENT and not simbolic BS

April 26 2013 at 3:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

So, the patriotic company that's known as GE,a company that makes BILLIONS of dollar profits and pays ZERO taxes is showing their moral superiorty by not financing gun purchases.

April 26 2013 at 3:12 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gjterranov's comment

YUP So lets bpycott them what's good for the goose is good for the Gander but be sure to call GE Corporate headquarters and tell them .

April 26 2013 at 6:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

GE is a chinese company now, not surprised at their action.

April 26 2013 at 3:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Thank you GE for whatever role you are playing in helping to keep more guns off our streets. We cannot shoot our way out of our troubles in this Country. It starts with our children; and teaching them respect and caring of others. Bullying has no place in this world; and if you don't teach your children that, then you are part of the problem. We are not born hating; that is a learned thing that comes from poor parenting. Hate only begets Hate; and guns only beget injury and death.

April 26 2013 at 2:52 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Mbomcar's comment

oh thank you GE for keeping guns off of the street and these in the Gubmint black SUVs

April 26 2013 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Done with GE. Who in the hell do they think they are deceiding for me what I can or can't finance on a LEGAL purchase.

Card is going in the shredded as soon as I'm done typing.

April 26 2013 at 12:32 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Bill Wendt

And I just stopped buying ANYTHING G.E. Closing credit account with then now.

April 26 2013 at 12:18 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Bill Wendt's comment

Aren't you glad you live in a free country where you can make that decision for yourself?

April 26 2013 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply