When Banks Attack: Citigroup’s Anti-Gun Policies May Provide ‘Template’ for Others

The marginalization of American gun owners is in full swing. Since the Parkland attack, YouTube, Wal-Mart, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have all announced do-gooder policies designed to discriminate against groups of gun owners and categories of legal firearms. Hertz, among others, have parted ways with the National Rifle Association, and even pro-gun Florida has instituted what may be an unconstitutional age restriction on gun purchases.

Gun owners have alternative options for grocery shopping and online video streaming, but Citigroup’s recent decision to prohibit certain types of firearm sales could pose the biggest risk to the gun industry.

“Citi’s decision has the potential to serve as a template for others in the finance industry,” according to Andrew Sorokin at the New York Times.

Citi announced last week its plans to “restrict” gun sales by business partners. It will no longer do business with companies that sell bump-fire stocks and “high capacity” magazines. It will also require its clients to perform background checks on all gun purchases (which is already required by law, but whatever) and prohibit the sale of firearms to anyone under the age of 21.

“We don’t pretend that these answers are perfect, but as we looked at the things we thought we could influence, we felt that, working with our clients, we could make a difference,” Citigroup’s chief executive Michael L. Corbat told the New York Times. “Banks serve a societal purpose — we believe our investors want us to do this and be responsible corporate citizens.”

Here’s where it gets scary. According to Sorokin, virtually all the major banks have created “formal or informal working groups” to consider the issue, as have the big credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

In other words, if local gun shops don’t fall in line, they may not have access to the financial services they need to keep their businesses afloat.

Citigroup admitted that it did not have the “technology nor the legal ability” to monitor gun purchases at the payment-processing level, but said that the “industry was discussing the possibility.”

SEE ALSO: Dick’s Posts ‘Deeper than Expected’ Losses Weeks After Taking Anti-Gun Stance

Sorokin has a few ideas. In proposals worthy of 1984, he outlines two technologies that would allow Big Brother on Wall Street to monitor and prohibit sales it has unilaterally deemed morally unworthy.

First, Sorokin argues that banks should create sub-categories of purchase codes that allow them to see whenever one of the clients sells a firearm. This solution might “require some enforcement,” as gun sellers will attempt to game the system, but he believes that eventually gun makers will “voluntarily follow the ‘best practices’ route.”

Second, Sorokin proposes a solution to the age-old “gun show loophole.” Because some states don’t require background checks on private gun sales, he argues that services like Venmo and Square should “electronically geo-fence” gun shows. This could require each transaction at that event be limited to users over 21 or require additional information for sales to be processed at that location.

“I’ve shared these ideas with many of the biggest financial institutions, and the feedback, with some exceptions, has been quite positive,” Sorokin claims.

If Citigroup and other banks refuse to do business with the pro-gun community, new financial institutions will be more than happy to fill the gap. It’s still a free market, after all.

But prohibiting gun makers and sellers from using established banks will still serve to expel gun owners from mainstream American culture. Criminalizing guns and gun accessories is only one prong of the anti-gun strategy. Cultural marginalization is perhaps even more important, and the recent corporate attacks are a big part of that move.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 35 comments… add one }
  • Luke August 17, 2018, 11:42 am

    I’ve posted this list several times under various topics on the GA board. Perhaps it needs an update. But, here’s a list of credit card providers, banks and businesses where I have canceled accounts. My credit rating actually took a jump after these cancellations and now stands north of 825. They all lost a credit-worthy client. But, they don’t care. Banks, credit card providers and some corporations are now liberal political activists working squarely against the very Constitution that allows them their standard of living. Here are a couple who have not caved in to the anti-gun hysteria: Wells Fargo, Barclay (Priceline), USBank and any credit union you can name. There’s nothing that major credit card providers and banks can do that a local credit union can’t provide. Here’s the list of anti-Constitution credit card providers, banks and businesses:

    Bank of America
    P.O Box 15019
    Wilmington, DE 19886-5019

    Bank of America
    P.O. Box 982234
    El Paso, TX 79998-2234

    Bass Pro Shops (BPS now uses CapOne same as Cabella’s)
    2500 East Kearney
    Springfield, MO 65898

    Cabela’s Corporate Office and Headquarters
    1 Cabela Drive
    Sidney, NE 69160

    Capital One
    41550 Wewatta Street
    Denver, CO 80202

    Capital One Retail Services
    P.O. Box 7680
    Carol Stream, IL 60116 7680

    CitiBank Customer Service
    P.O. Box 6500
    Sioux Falls, SC 57117

    Home Depot Credit Services
    P.O. Box 900100
    Louisville, KY 40290-1010

    Home Depot Credit Services
    P.O. Box 790328
    St. Louis, MO 63179

    Lowe’s Advantage Credit Card
    Synchrony Bank
    P.O. Box 530914
    Atlanta, GA 30353-0914

    Menards Corporate Office
    4777 Menard Drive
    Eau Claire, WI 54703

    Sam Ash
    Synchrony Bank
    P.L Box 960061
    Orlando, FL 32896-0061

    Sears Private Label General Enquiries
    P.O. Box 6275
    Sioux Falls, SD 57117

    Sears Consumer Payments
    P.O. Box 9001055
    Louisville, KY 40290-1055

    Sears Mastercard General Inquiries
    P.O. Box 6475
    Sioux Falls, SD 57117

    Synchrony Bank
    P.O. Box 530914
    Atlanta, GA 30353-0914

    Synchrony Bank
    Walmart
    P.O. Box 105972
    Atlanta, GA 30348-5972

    The Progressive Corporation
    6300 Wilson Mills Road
    Mayfield Village, OH 44143

    Walmart Corporate Headquarters
    702 SW Eighth Street
    Bentonville, AR 72716

    Cancel credit card account number ______________________.

    I will not knowingly support anti-Constitution, (anti-gun or anti-hunting) credit card providers, retail entities or insurance companies. The financial benefit of these products and financial arrangements are not worth the sacrifice of Constitutional liberty. I will not support a political lobby that intentionally champions the loss of my liberty as an American Citizen and a Veteran of the United States armed forces.

    So far my list of credit card provider cancellations includes all Capital One, Citigroup, Bank of America and Synchrony Bank cards as well as Progressive and Liberty Mutual insurance products. These include the following credit cards: Menards, Home Depot, Cabela’s, Bass Pro Shops, Sears, Lowe’s, Sam Ash and others.

    Sincerely,

    Veteran

    • Tanya in Ohio May 6, 2019, 10:02 am

      I have to respectfully disagree with your listing of Synchrony Bank – they deal directly with Fin Feather and Fur, which is a store local to Ohio (like a Cabela’s) which sells a very large assortment of firearms and ammunition, as well as the hunting, fishing, camping products including gun safes, knives, targets, etc. I actually applied for and was approved for my Synchrony card at that store and it’s only good at that store. They don’t discriminate against 2A.

  • Richard Turner August 3, 2018, 1:20 pm

    Closed my Citibank accounts. Hey all gun owners dump this company. If we all get together they will fall!!!

  • Canoeal April 13, 2018, 3:03 pm

    Pull all of your money out of accounts with these banks. If all pro 2a clients do that even for a day or a week the bank will be in serious hurt. Move it to cash or some other account.

  • Canoeal April 13, 2018, 2:59 pm

    These gun o=companies need to file multiple lawsuits akin to the ones used to force businesses to do business with Gays…

  • Canoeal April 13, 2018, 2:56 pm

    Going to stop using the Cards for sure. Will recommend all the members of oug GC do too.

  • James Davis April 13, 2018, 1:08 pm

    Having done business with China for a number of years, I am sure they are licking their lips over all this denial of American gun manufacturers from business with American banks. They will step in and fill this void, probably with even lower interest rates, and take over even more of the American economy. I was in China at a banquet in my honor when news of Willie boy Clinton’s signing of NAFTA was announced. There was great jubilation with this news because it was going to save the Chinese millions of dollars in tariffs on goods exported to the U.S. Most goods, mainly clothing, would simply be diverted to Mexico to their companies there and then into the U.S. tariff free. Our government at work??!!

  • J April 1, 2018, 10:36 pm

    What we should all do as pro-2A individual and families is move out of anti-2A states (MA, RI, CT, NY, NJ, CA, OR, WA, VT, IL, etc). We have a choice when it comes to where we live and how we spend our money as pro-2A individuals and families. We hurt the states and companies were it counts by taking our tax revenue and purchasing power to pro-2A states. Do not buy or use stores, air lines, credit card companies, and banks that are anti-2A. Support pro-2A stores, air lines, credit card companies, and banks only. We change the population of states that are anti-2A by moving to pro-2A states. Anti-2A states will loose representation in the House of Representatives in Congress and loose their power of influence. The anti-2A groups and individuals have cast the first volley in this new economic warfare against us as pro-2A supporters. Do not forget what the ex-supreme court justice John Paul Stevens recently wrote Repeal the Second Amendment last week in the New York Times, which is the second volley. How many more of these before we get the message of total disarmament is the goal of these anti-2A groups.

  • Doc April 1, 2018, 5:13 pm

    When I moved my gun store to NV. In 2005, our small township only had two banks. BofA and Wells Fargo. We took credit cards and banked with Wells Fargo, when our money was not available, we called WF and was told that in order to continue banking with them the word “GUN” needed to be removed from our name. I did one better removed my account.

  • Winston March 31, 2018, 9:28 pm

    The US ruling oligarchy and their cult-Marx minorities did this with the Confederate flag and historical monuments. They were quite successful in banishment and marginalizing southern history and the white population.

  • Sepp W March 31, 2018, 8:20 am

    Nothing new here. Several in the service industry went “anti-gun” long before these “titans.” It was inevitable after 8 years of identity politics, manufactured social injustices, vilification of freedom and morality, ratcheting up on hate speech, inciting class warfare, inciting racism, turning back decades of civil rights progress, condemnation of the Constitution, abhorration of individual rights, etc, etc.

    • Keith March 31, 2018, 10:07 pm

      I just cancelled my Citibank cards the other day and had my wife do the same. We do not want to do business with a bank that wants to infringe on our Second Amendment. My wife told them it is our Second Amendment right to own magazines that hold more than ten rounds.

      I own probably over fourteen standard capacity magazines that hold more than ten rounds. Most magazines that hold ten rounds or less are “crippled capacity magazines” to me.

  • Bruce Nano March 30, 2018, 11:11 pm

    How absurd and pompus is this? We live in the GREATEST and one of the most democratic countries in the World, how are people NOT thinking or even talking about the current and endearing BLACK MARKET GUNS that are and always will be a threat to our society! Each and every weapon sold has it’s purpose, and I for one, am proud to be a NRA supporter, a hunting enthusiast. Oh,and I also LOVE my country, GOD, family, and the 2a!

  • mrpski March 30, 2018, 9:13 pm

    Banks serve a societal purpose? All banks really care about is the profit margin. Been that way since the Roman era and will be that way as long as we have free market enterprise. I say God bless the free markets, just sayin bankers are blood suckers-all of them

  • A rational person March 30, 2018, 8:19 pm

    The amount of painful ignorance in this thread is hilarious. You think Citigroup cares about you or your business? Really? They make their money off securities underwriting and commercial loans. Transactions valued in the BILLIONS of dollars. None of the big banks give a damn about your piddly account — they want to save face with their BUSINESS customers. And what are the businesses doing? Backing away from guns.

  • bison1913 March 30, 2018, 4:17 pm

    Fact Check!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Fed-Ex Has not parted ways with the NRA…………………………………….. They actually stood their ground with the NRA.

    Please correct your idiotic comment on your normal idiotic ramblings and incorrect statements as usual.

    Thank you,
    Shoot lots and stay safe.

    • kjj1564 April 27, 2018, 8:44 am

      February 26, 2018 – FedEx Corporation’s positions on the issues of gun policy and safety differ from those of the National Rifle Association (NRA). FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians.

      You need to get your facts straight, what are you a fed-ex employee trying to give us misinformation !

    • kjj April 27, 2018, 8:53 am

      FedEx Corp. is maintaining discounts for members of the National Rifle Association, even as calls for a boycott mount on social media after a deadly school shooting in Florida.

  • R. Neil March 30, 2018, 2:33 pm

    They are just creating an underground.
    For now, CASH IS KING !

  • TLsav March 30, 2018, 2:24 pm

    This is not new type of practice for CitiBank. I cut ties with them years ago because of their practices!

  • John M March 30, 2018, 1:06 pm

    So you can’t sell a bullet, but have to sell a cake?

    • Just Me April 23, 2018, 12:40 am

      The homosexuals and transgender people apparently have superior right to service when compared to normal heterosexual people and the right of self defense. Any private business (minus police and medical) should have the right to refuse service to any person for any reason. Tyranny results when you force private businesses to provide goods and services to others.

  • Terry Garland March 30, 2018, 12:52 pm

    I agree with most everything that was said here, there is in fact one item that is incorrect. Fed-ex did not cut its ties with the NRA. In fact they refused to give into demands for them to do that. I don’t work for Fed-ex, but I do fact check. Get it right or don’t recite it. We already have enough liars on the anti gunners side. Speak the truth or don’t speak at all.

  • LEADFOOT320 March 30, 2018, 10:51 am

    I will close any bank account or credit card with any bank that follows this guide line! I have already closed 1 CREDIT CARD !

    IF ALL BANKS GO TO THIS (won’t happen) I WILL GO BACK TO CASH !

  • AK March 30, 2018, 10:49 am

    FedEx has NOT dropped it’s NRA discount; incorrectly noted in the article..

  • joefoam March 30, 2018, 10:40 am

    I would encourage all Citibank card holders to either cancel services with them or maintain a minimal balance on their accounts to force them into spending money to service the account. We need to find out the list of clients and boycott them as well, ask the stockholders of Dicks how much they are enjoying seeing their stock decline 7%.

    • Jay March 30, 2018, 12:37 pm

      Yep! I closed down two Credit Cards that were run and owned by Citibank! Do your research you’ll be surprised how many other names they go by to put credit cards in peoples hands!

  • Michael March 30, 2018, 10:20 am

    Banks are like 7-11’s – there’s one on every corner. As consumers, conservatives, and possibly gun owners, we should always be conscious of businesses who don’t share our values. We need to focus on doing business with those entities that do welcome us. Citi-Group, like Hollywood, will gradually see that customers may choose to utilize other banking institutions that do share solid conservative Christian values. I have never done business with Citi-Group and clearly will continue that approach in the future.

  • Bigkielbassa March 30, 2018, 10:18 am

    Now I wish I’d have filed bankruptcy on Citi Bank. ZOG up to its New world order as usual .

  • Zupglick March 30, 2018, 10:17 am

    CASH.

  • Randy Romesburg March 30, 2018, 9:54 am

    Time to change banks. If all gun owners and their families boycott antigun banks they will soon get the message. Remember money talks and teenagers don’t have very much.

  • Kb31416 March 30, 2018, 9:49 am

    The solution to this problem is to financially punish citi and other organizations that attempt to implement a policy like this. The means to do so is a class action law suit filed in a friendly jurisdiction for violating the civil rights of some 20 year old who attempts to buy a rifle, but is denied due to this policy. I think that something like this has already been filed against Walmart. Supporting these efforts should be at the top of the list of gun rights organizations.

  • Casey Meester March 30, 2018, 7:26 am

    Because their money laundering in Miami was so much more profitable during the 1980’s.

    • Jonathan gall April 1, 2018, 2:36 pm

      That was all cash back then millions and millions all in cash untraceable cash

  • Jaque March 29, 2018, 9:04 pm

    We will throw away citi bank credit cards and close out our bank accounts with citi and any other bank who uses their power to deprive us of our right to buy and sell legal arms and accessories.

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