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51 Sherbrooke W., Montreal, QC. Canada, H5Z 4T9.

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Funding Area: Education

Formed in 2016, Guns Down America is successfully building a future with fewer guns by weakening the gun industry and building political and cultural support for policies that will keep us safe from gun violence. Small but mighty, Guns Down America has led the gun violence prevention movement by ending the NRA’s lucrative insurance program, pushing major American banks to end their business relationships with irresponsible gun manufacturers, and forcing large retailers like Walmart to dramatically shrink gun sales.

Guns Down America has also been on the forefront of combating armed domestic extremists and safeguarding the American voting process from armed intimidation.

Projects We Support

Is Your Bank Loaded?

In 2019, Guns Down America launched a first-of-its kind campaign that graded banks based on their business ties to the firearms and ammunition industry and empowered customers to urge their financial institutions to end these relationships. As a result of the Is Your Bank Loaded? campaign, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo distanced themselves from firearm manufacturers and the NRA.

In 2020, Guns Down America embarked on the next phase of this effort, focused on building a system that will allow banks and credit card networks to flag sudden bulk firearm and ammunition purchases made through debit and credit cards — purchasing patterns that are usually exhibited by would-be mass shooters and firearm traffickers. In order to begin flagging such sales, Guns Down America worked with Amalgamated Bank, Giffords, and Brady to convince the International Standardization Organization (ISO) to create a new Merchant Category Code (MCC) for stand-alone gun dealers. After several applications to the ISO and a well publicized effort pressuring the credit card companies to stop empowering mass shooters and allow for the creation of the new MCC, our coalition successfully secured the new code.

This achievement represents a key milestone in expanding the tools available for law enforcement to prevent mass shooters and gun traffickers from acquiring the firepower they need to carry out their deadly rampages.

But gun manufacturers and the gun lobby, which oppose almost all common-sense gun violence prevention efforts, have launched a coordinated campaign that is urging the financial industry to ignore the new code and protect the dangerous status quo that allows mass shooters and gun traffickers to continue exploiting the financial system. As a result, Guns Down America and our partners are now standing up an effort that will:

  • Defend the new code from the political attacks coming from the gun industry.
  • Push back against lawmakers (on the state and federal levels) who seek to penalize thefinancial sector for implementing the new code.
  • Ensure that the financial industry effectively implements a system that will flag potentialshooters.

Support Dates: March, 2023 – Ongoing

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