Gov to Sen: “Less posturing” needed in gun debate

Posted at 3:22 PM, Apr 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-23 16:22:07-04

In the latest of their back-and-forths, Gov. John Bel Edwards has fired back at Sen. John Kennedy over recent letters the senator has penned about banks that have taken a stand against gun violence. 

Last week, the senator sent a letter to Louisiana’s treasurer, asking if the state is doing business with Citigroup or Bank of America, and expressing concern over the banks’ policies. He calls them "downright offensive."  In that letter, Kennedy also refers to them as "New York banks," but although Citigroup does have headquarters in New York, Bank of America’s headquarters are in Charlotte, North Carolina. To read the letter, scroll down.

Our media partners at The Advocate report that Kennedy sent letters to Citigroup Inc.after the bank said they won’t work with businesses that sell guns to people younger than 21 and don’t require a background check. Citigroup also has said it won’t work with businesses that sell high-capacity magazines or bump stocks. He’s also sent letters to Bank of America, after it said it won’t lend money to companies that make military-style guns anymore. Both banks have announced the policies in the wake of the February 14 school shooting that left 17 people, most of them children, dead in Florida.

In response last week’s letter, the governor sent Kennedy a letter containing information he said he was sure the senator would find "interesting." To read the letter, scroll down. 

First, the governor writes, the only contract the state holds with Bank of America was signed by Kennedy himself when he was treasurer. 

Secondly, the governor notes Kennedy’s worry about the background check policy, and points out that federal law already requires all businesses to conduct a background check – something that Kennedy "should be aware" of, being a U.S. Senator. 

Lastly, the governor writes that he is a strong proponent of the Second Amendment but also is a father "heartbroken" by recent tragedies. 

"…I am of the belief that less posturing is needed on this issue," Edwards wrote. "We should have a conversation about ensuring that current laws are enforced, and if your goal is to be part of the solution and not to exacerbate the issue, I encourage you to lead that conversation in Congress."