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Competitors like PayPal and Square prohibit their own payment services from being used to facilitate firearm sales. But after a pair of mass shootings over the weekend that left more than 30 people dead, Visa is standing by its policy of permitting those transactions.
“We are guided by the federal laws in a country, and our job is to create and to facilitate fair and secure commerce,” CEO Alfred Kelly told CNBC. “We shouldn’t tell people they can’t purchase a 32-ounce soda. We shouldn’t tell people they can’t buy reproductive drugs.”
Several top executives have weighed in on the issue of gun control since the shooting at an El Paso, Texas, Walmart and an attack in Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend.
“I'm heartbroken about what's happening in my country. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. It's time for good people with different views to stop finger pointing and come together to address this violence for the good of our country,” Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote on Twitter.
For its part, Walmart has refused calls to halt the sale of guns at its retail locations. CEO Doug MacMillon said the company will be “thoughtful and deliberate” and “act in a way that reflects the best values and ideals.”
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Several companies have altered their policy toward firearms in recent years amid a surge in mass shootings, including an attack at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 people dead.
Bank of America is no longer financing companies that manufacture assault-style rifles. Meanwhile, Citigroup is requiring that clients mandate background checks and set a minimum age for purchase of 21 years old.
Dick’s Sporting Goods also sparked outrage when it ended the sale of some firearms after the Parkland shooting. Sales at the sporting goods chain have suffered as a result.