Unfortunately, it has become necessary to pass legislation to stop financial institutions from discriminating against legal, but what a small percentage of vocal activists may consider politically incorrect, manufacturers and stores.
For example, introduced legislation in Arizona, H.B. 2473, would stop banks from receiving state government contracts unless they avoid discriminating against companies that make and sell firearms, as well as companies manufacturing and selling related accessories and gear.
“Businesses can do what they like, but these are … federally chartered banks. We have to make this right for the people,” said state Rep. Frank Carroll (R) to The Daily Wire.
Firearms manufacturer Sturm, Ruger & Co. has over 400 employees in Arizona. During an Arizona Senate committee hearing in March, Ruger Firearms VPO Tim Lowney said its decades-long relationship with Bank of America was terminated for political reasons.
“These groups are trying to institute laws that are going well beyond what’s prescribed in federal and state laws to institute their own anti-gun agenda through their own corporate largesse,” said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). “They’re unaccountable to the American public. This is why we elect leaders, because they can represent us on these issues. If we disagree with them, we have the ability to vote them out. We don’t have that ability with the corporate boardrooms.”
This anti-gun business bias is well-known to Brandon Maddox, CEO of Silencer Central, located in Sioux Falls, S.D. Maddox’s company sells a wide variety of suppressors nationally. Silencer Central uses a unique internet-based application and payment system for consumers purchasing the federally regulated suppressors. In February 2021, Maddox testified before the South Dakota Senate Committee of Commerce and Energy about his difficulties in getting a credit card account set up for the business.
“Silencer Central was unable to open a credit card account with Capital One because we were considered a firearms manufacturer/dealer by Capital One,” Maddox said. “So we opened the SPARK Business credit card under my personal name and my social security number. We were in the process of moving the Capital One SPARK card from my personal name to business name and business EIN [Employer Identification Number] right before my testimony because—after a good deal of back and forth—Capital One agreed that Silencer Central could be classified as a ‘Sporting Goods’ business, and not a firearms manufacturer.
“But after my testimony before the Senate Committee, where I raised this point and others about banking biases against my company, Capital One had a change of heart. I was advised by Capital One that our business account request had then been denied and I needed to seek a new service for my personal account currently being used for Silencer Central business.”
At the time, Silencer Central was processing, on average, $100,000 in daily purchases with the SPARK card, paying off the balance every other day.
As Oliva explained to America’s 1st Freedom, American financial institutions receive a good deal of support from the federal government and federal taxpayers. That support is found in numerous programs, including the taxpayer-funded Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, commonly called FDIC, which insures deposits in American banks up to $250,000.
But as financial institutions have increasingly discriminated against companies in the shooting sports, many of these companies have expressed their concerns to lawmakers. This has led to states considering legislation similar to the Arizona’s H.B. 2473. This includes Oklahoma’s H.B. 3144 and Missouri’s S.B. 1048. As this was being written, the Oklahoma version was headed to to governor's desk while the Missouri version was under consideration.
At the federal level, Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) recently introduced the FIND Act, H.R. 6970, in the U.S. House of Representatives. It would prohibit corporate entities from profiting from taxpayer-funded federal contracts while discriminating against the firearms industry.
The FIND Act would apply not only to banks, but to financial service providers, like PayPal, and point-of-sale processing services, many of which have actively discriminated against firearms retailers.
Unfortunately, Olivia noted, while the FIND Act currently has 77 co-sponsors, “It hasn’t yet been given a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives.”