Financial Activism is an Emerging Force for Gun Control

Local and state policymakers are taking a finance-based approach to gun control. (Photo: NSSF)

The gun control push might be taking a hit in 2020, with unprecedented growth in sales and gun ownership nation-wide, but that doesn’t mean its backers are giving up any time soon. Right now one way gun control advocates are ramping up is in banking.

While some financial institutions are taking anti-gun business stances on their own, state and local legislators are crafting new policies in order to make it hard for any banks to work with gun buyers and sellers.

“Financial activism by banks is by far one of the largest emerging threats against Second Amendment rights,” Philip Watson, founder of Washington Public Relations and a Second Amendment advocate, told Fox News. “The federal government allows the financial industry to receive vast amounts of federal funds; however, those exact same funds free up their balance sheets enough to discriminate and play politics.”

California, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia are all hotspots where legislators and regulators are looking to use political force to leverage their anti-gun agendas onto banks, gun owners and gun manufacturers.

California Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Down, D-L.A., introduced a bill last year, ACR-115, that “would urge all banks to discuss their lending practices with their shareholders and to adopt lending practices that mirror the people of California’s values of protecting citizens before profit.” The bill is currently waiting for senate approval.

The state Treasurer Shawn Wooden of Connecticut announced his plans to reallocate $30 million in public pension funds away from gun manufacturing investments and block any future investments in the firearms industry. The plan also includes provisions for incentivizing investing with companies that hold anti-gun policies.

A Virginia legislator introduced an even more troubling set of laws with the Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act of 2019. This bill requires banks and credit card companies to report financial transactions involving gun sales to the state and federal agencies in order to track “suspicious activity” without establishing what that activity is.

Other transaction services including Apple Pay, Square and PayPal have long-standing restrictions on money transfers for gun sales.

“PayPal canceled my business and personal accounts because of a velcro patch that we were selling through our web store,” said the Silah Report’s founder Miles Vining. “It was in the shape of a firearm called the AKS74U or affectionately known as the ‘Krinkov’ in Central Asia and the United States.”

“It’s a constant struggle when it comes to conducting anything that is legitimate and small arms-related in the current political climate,” added Vining.

See Also: NJ Gov. Vows to Stop Business with Gun Makers, Banks That Won’t Embrace Gun Control

But not every financial institution is on board with the idea of turning away gun business. Both Mastercard and Visa remain willing to work with gun owners and the gun industry.

“We are guided by the federal laws in a country, and our job is to create and to facilitate fair and secure commerce,” said Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly to CNBC.

“The reality is that it’s very hard for us to do it,” said Kelly. “If we start to get in the mode of being legislators it’s a very slippery slope. We shouldn’t be determining what’s right or wrong in terms of people’s purchases.”

Kelly added that he believes that these decisions lie in the hands of policymakers, and that “it’s time to start looking at mental health, the size of these magazines, the type of weapons. They’ve got to do something.”

One thing is clear, that if these anti-gun leaders can’t get at guns directly, they’ll still go after them in any other way they can.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

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  • Kane August 8, 2020, 10:26 am

    I was customer of Bank of America for years starting out with Talman Bank and through at least one other merger. I had a jumbo CD that I did NOT want to put in a mutual and for years I put up with low interest rates the closing of all drive through tellers. After all, the CEO’s had to feather their nests and the little people had to tighten their belts. I put up with a myriad of poor treatment but when BOA took a stand against the firearm industry I finally took a stand against that rotten Bank and withdrew every cent. I politely explained to the teller why I was leaving and how the bank was trying to reduce staff by pushing online banking.

    I also stopped using my Citibank credit card. Strike back pro 2A financial activism.

  • Stan d. Upnow August 8, 2020, 9:55 am

    “If we start to get in the mode of being legislators it’s a very slippery slope. We shouldn’t be determining what’s right or wrong in terms of people’s purchases.”

    Totalitarians will not restrict themselves to one issue. The Progressive-Socialists seek to gain a toehold and then incrementally increase their draconian restrictions until nothing is left of your rights, and you essentially become a vassal of the state. Think USSR, China, N. Korea…

  • II GUN August 7, 2020, 2:19 pm

    There are other ways to skin the Banking extremists control mongers; There are how many gun owners in the US?? Go fund me for the firearms industry would be a breeze.. Donate a buck a gun you own and we instantly have over $300 million in funds to disperse. Of course anyone can donate more to the cause!

  • Alex August 7, 2020, 7:45 am

    These socialist/communist will never stop. They know the very first order to control a society is to get rid of the guns. In their view an armed society is a dangerous society. I grew up in a communist country, this is the way they think. Because the 2A is edged in the constitution they are going to try everything in their powers to circumvent the constitution.

  • anonymous4goodreason August 4, 2020, 8:15 am

    Well, if the electorate wasn’t so stupid this wouldn’t be a problem. Eventually, we’ll have to fight any way we can to get our rights reinstated. That may mean 100 million strong boycotting those that virtue signal with rights infringement or something else down the road but we absolutely must fight together or we will lose.

    • Stan d. Upnow August 8, 2020, 10:10 am

      You hit on a major problem there. The Leftist zombies are easily assembled, led, and told what to say & think. On the other hand, those on the Right cherish their independence, think for themselves, and hold differing opinions. This makes it much harder to expeditiously organize them and spur them into action.
      Only when the danger is “right there” will they act, but by then it could be too late.

      Look at how these atrocious Red Flag laws are effected. They raid someone’s home with an overwhelming force of heavily armed(and armored) LE. They will kill anyone or thing that they deem a “threat;” family pets, kids, parents.
      Now remember how armed citizens IN NUMBERS stood down the cretins in the Bureau of Land Mgt. a few years ago. Despite a large show of force, the BLM assessed the situation and decided many of them would die if they pushed forward. They turned-tail and left. Score one for us.

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