Second amendment supporters have now taken aim at the banks that they once had no problem doing business with. Citigroup and Bank of America have taken to discrimination practices as they no longer treat makers of fire arms the same way that they treat their other business customers. The shot that these banks have fired at gun makers could have placed any hopes that they had of gaining favor with Republican law makers and regulators at risk. A large number of Republicans defend the second amendment themselves. The actions of the banks place themselves in direct opposition of the support that most Republicans give to the second amendment.
Two months ago Citigroup took it upon themselves to require their business clients who sell guns to make their customers pass a background check first. Just a few weeks later Bank of America cut off all loans to business clients who make military style fire arms for civilians. Both banks made their decisions after the school shooting that occurred in Parkland, Florida on February 14. Those in favor of tighter gun control laws and Democrats praised the two banks for their decisions and have tried to encourage other banks to do the same.
A lobbyist group called Gun Owners of America have taken their argument to the law makers and asked that they add a provision to a draft law rewriting bank rules that it feels would protect gun makers from discriminatory business practices. The bill that the Gun Owners of America are hoping to gain this protection from is set to be voted upon next week by the House of Representatives. Financial lobbyist believe the bill is likely to likely to pass without the provision that the Gun Owners of America desires to see placed in it. The two groups are more than likely going to become adversaries of each other on other regulatory issues.
Executive director of the GOA Erich Pratt gave a statement to MSN when he said, “Citigroup and Bank of America are threatening our Second-Amendment rights. They do not realize how much more there is to lose than to gain by their new policies.”
This month Gun Owners of America sent out a message to its 1.5 million members asking them to petition House lawmakers to vote against the bill if the provision is not added. Pratt feels that the members of the GOA will take action against such an attempt to discriminate against them. One member of the GOA has already stopped Citibank and Bank of America credit cards at his Missouri based gun shop in response to the business practices that the two banks have set into motion. While the refusal to accept their credit cards has caused some of his customers to shop elsewhere his more loyal customers don’t mind paying in cash while they find more gun owner friendly credit card alternatives. The NRA has been making its customers aware of companies who do not choose to honor the second amendment.
Senate of Banking Committee chairman Mike Crapo, wrote to both banks informing them of the Banking Committee’s disagreement with their business practices. He let them know that it is not the place of a bank to try to dictate social policy.
As long as mass shootings stay the focus of America’s attention these gun issues are not likely to go away.