We’re kinda having a bit of #MeToo moment right now as it relates to the way the financial industry treats pro-2A businesses. While the truth is that banks, money lenders, and credit card processors have for years been adopting an institutional hostility toward the gun industry, many stories of discrimination and unfair treatment are just being told now as more victims feel compelled to speak out.
Last week we ran an article on the way credit card processor Intuit dropped Honor Defense because the Georgia-based pistol maker was accepting orders and credit card information over the phone from federally licensed dealers. Intuit claimed that because these transfers weren’t face-to-face it would have to terminate its relationship with Honor Defense.
Gary Ramey, the owner of Honor Defense, explained that the firearms industry is heavily regulated by the federal government, that all gun shops hold a special license and that any firearm sold to an individual is actually transferred to a local gun shop where the prospective purchaser must pass a background check before he or she can take possession of the firearm. In other words, it’s about as safe and as worry-free a transaction as one could ask for. Still, Intuit stood its ground, kicking Honor Defense to the curb.
After running that article we learned of others who had a similar experience with Intuit. One, though, in particular really highlighted the hardened stupidity of the software company. After a 10-plus year relationship with National Police Supply, Intuit suddenly terminated the relationship because the California-based company was selling batons to police officers.
“Intuit didn’t care if I sold pool cues, or ax handles, or closet rods, or steel pipes, or big flashlights but they were all wound up about selling police batons to police officers,” said Sean DePriest, the president of National Police Supply in an email to GunsAmerica.
DePriest explained that in California he is only allowed to sell batons to law enforcement and licensed security. “We retain a copy of the buyer’s police ID with every baton we sell in CA,” said DePriest.
As it relates to the other states in which NPS ships batons too, unlike California, many of them do not have laws regulating the sale of batons.
“Intuit said they could seek an exception if we only sold batons in face-to-face transactions, but they don’t realize that most states don’t regulate them at all, so you can buy one at the hardware store with no questions asked,” explained DePriest.
When he spoke to the Intuit representative, DePriest said that he made the point about all the other implements available that could be used to cause harm, from baseball bats to walking sticks to golf clubs only to receive a “condescending lecture about the difference being what those products are ‘intended’ to be used for.”
GunsAmerica reached out to Intuit for comment only to be directed to a boilerplate statement issued on June 11, 2018.
It reads, in part, “Our company does NOT prohibit ANY of these regulated industries — including the firearms industry — from using QuickBooks for payment processing. In fact, many do so today. However, for these transactions our bank partner requires them to be done face-to-face. To meet this requirement, our policy today requires the customer to be present to swipe their credit card. When transactions are ‘keyed in’ by the vendor – including online and over the phone – Intuit cannot verify that the customer was present.”
The spokesperson wanted GunsAmerica to emphasize that this policy is dictated to Intuit by their “bank partner” and it is not new nor has it changed.
It goes on to say that “All of our customers agree to these terms when they sign on to use our services. When a customer of ours is unable or unwilling to meet this commitment, we reach out to them directly to explore a solution to the problem or to transition them off of our service.”
Since NPS had been with Intuit for 10-12 years, I was curious to know how long this policy has been in effect. I asked Intuit that question directly as a follow-up to my initial request for comment. No response yet. I also want to know who their “bank partner” is. But I doubt I’ll get an answer to that either. We’ll see.
Sean was miffed. He once again reiterated his scrupulous sales process.
“The reality was that we sell police batons on our website, but we carefully scrutinize those orders. And if they come from California, we have a form that they have to fill out and we require that they send us a copy of their law enforcement identification or California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) guard registration and baton permit. If a CA customer can’t provide those documents, we cancel their order. But I’m sure Calloway Golf will take an order for golf clubs over the phone and ship them to anybody that has a credit card,” he said.
Sean was clear that he was seeking attention nor was he wanting any type of monetary compensation. He just wanted to point out how assinine Intuit’s policy on weapons is. As he said, it “defies all logic and common sense.” Because when used as a weapon, there isn’t much difference between a golf club, a baseball bat, a table leg and a baton.
At the end of the day, this Intuit saga is really just a small part of a much larger movement to undermine one’s Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. I mean, because on its own, it ain’t that big a deal. Truth be told both Sean and Gary are fine without Intuit. Better off, actually.
But when Gary and Sean’s stories are placed in the context of a former Supreme Court Justice writing an op-ed to repeal the 2A in the NY Times, kids being suspended from school for visiting the gun range with their dads, Facebook censoring gun content on its platform, Webster’s Dictionary redefining the term “assault weapon” to accord with the anti-gun definition, BoA defunding AR makers, Starbucks & Target & Chili’s & Chipotle & Jack-In-The-Box asking concealed carriers to leave their guns outside their locations, and on, and on, and on, you begin to realize the scale of the war being waged against us.
Thanks to Sean and Gary for allowing GunsAmerica to tell their stories. I’m hoping more business owners will come forward to share theirs as well.