Exclusive: Financial Attacks Continue as Franklin Armory, RMR Bullets Report Discrimination

Shopify Founder and CEO Tobi Lütke, who recently decided to ban firearm-related products on his company’s platforms. (Photo: Shopify.com)

Attacks on the firearms community have come from all sides in recent months. Financial institutions have refused service to gun companies, the governor of New York has weaponized his regulatory apparatus against the NRA, and banks are working to unilaterally ban lawful gun-related items.

Today two new stories emerged detailing how e-commerce and credit card processing companies have discriminated against gun-related manufacturers. Nevada-based Franklin Armory announced in a press release that Shopify, the host of their online store, suddenly changed their terms of service to disallow the sale of lawful, non-firearm items such as flash suppressors, threaded barrels, pistol grips, and even magazines larger than 10 rounds.

The new “Acceptable Use Policy” was “presented without warning,” according to the press release, forcing the firearms company to find a replacement before their one-year contract with Shopify expires.

We spoke with Franklin Armory President Jay Jacobson via email, and he explained that the anti-gun slant of the financial industry has compelled him and his team to do extra homework on their replacement options.

“We are attempting to evaluate not only the culture and policies of any alternative firm, but also any publicly known personal beliefs of the various CEOs,” Jacobson said. “It is a shame that we have to go to these great lengths, but too many liberal companies are plotting their virtue signaling by what may eventually be deemed tortious interference of business.”

Jacobson also noted the inconsistency of Shopify’s Founder and CEO, Tobi Lütke, who moved to ban sales of firearm-related items while continuing to sell other potentially harmful products.

“Mr. Lutke claimed that he wants to prohibit ‘items that can harm,’” Jacobson noted. “Yet, Shopify is very willing to promote the sale of marijuana in Canada, a Schedule I drug in the US. At least our products stem from a Constitutional right and are used by civilians and law enforcement to protect life and liberty.”

Franklin Armory isn’t the only company affected by Shopify’s new policy. According to the NRA-ILA, hundreds of firearms retailers use Shopify’s platform and are now facing a total loss of services. Cole Leleux, General Manager of Florida-based Spike’s Tactical, told the NRA-ILA that the tech company assured him the firearm-related nature of his products wouldn’t be an issue. Shopify only notified him of the policy change after Leleux signed the contract and paid $100,000 for the company’s services.

RMR Bullets, an Idaho-based reloading company, described a similar experience with a different company in their latest promotional email. A sudden terms-of-service change by credit card processing company FirstData forced the company to create a second new website six months after launching their first one.

“This has hurt us financially in ways that are hard to quantify,” said the company’s owner, Jake Wilcox. “We have hundreds of hours into training and construction of both websites plus the actual cost of two websites.”

SEE ALSO: Exclusive: Intuit Cut Off Law Enforcement Supplier for Selling Batons to Police

Even though FirstData initially agreed never to terminate their relationship with RMR Bullets for firearm-related reasons, the credit card processing company sent Wilcox a termination letter earlier this year threatening to hold $40,000 worth of deposits for up to six months.

With the help of legal counsel, Wilcox negotiated a window for finding a new credit card processor, but their previous website provider could only function with FirstData. This forced RMR Bullets to fund an entirely new website development project, costing the company nearly $27,000 and forcing them to let products go out of stock.

“FirstData is a horrible company that is anti-gun and if you ever need a credit card processor do not give them your money,” Wilcox said in the email.

Even though RMR has found a new credit card processing company, there’s no way to ensure this won’t happen again.

“They can change policy at any time. And I don’t have anything in contact with them,” Wilcox told GunsAmerica. “These companies, they’re so big that all contracts with them are completely one-sided. You can’t really negotiate with them, small companies have no negotiating ability whatsoever.”

Franklin Armory has been targeted by financial institutions as well, including Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citigroup, First Data, Intuit, and Pay Pal, according to their latest press release.

“History is replete with examples of discriminatory practices employed against various societal segments,” Jacobson pointed out. “In almost every case, our nation has legislated equal protection for those segments to prevent unfair practices and discrimination. If Congress does not act soon to provide equal protection to all businesses, it is not too much of a leap to see how only approved businesses or people will be able to buy or sell in future financial markets.”

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over two 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.

{ 16 comments… add one }
  • Jim September 11, 2018, 2:34 pm

    Listen, folks. Don’t think for a moment any of these giant corporations like Citi Corp or Bank of America give a rat’s ass about gun control or social justice. It’s all about the money. Anti-gun groups put pressure on financial institutions to refuse service to any company that’s pro-gun. If they don’t comply, there will be massive protests and a ton of negative press. And those groups don’t stop there. They will protest any company that has a relationship with the NRA, or Smith & Wesson, or Ruger, or any of the dozens of other firearms and accessories manufacturers.

    I know it’s a lot to ask, but I would love to see a few companies put principles ahead of profits. How great would it be for a protest group to threaten some company, and have that company turn around, flip them the bird, and tell them to f#@k off? I’d be a customer for life. It’ll never happen. Too many board members and stock holders to keep happy, but it’s a nice idea.

  • TX223 September 4, 2018, 11:24 am

    Use Volusion.

  • Tom Chase August 28, 2018, 2:24 pm

    Yes I feel sorry for the parents of the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Ct shooting and all the other shootings that have happened in our great country. But there WAS a large mental hospital institution in Newtown, Ct just a few miles from Sandy
    Hook that our great government had CLOSED years back do to CUT BACKS. And from what I have heard from many people in the area when they closed the doors there was no new facility to go to. (like saying see you good luck) Now from what I see is it’s mental health that is behind a large number of if not all the people pulling the trigger in these shootings.
    You know the old saying what comes around goes around!!! it’s coming back and biting the politicians in their ass (excuse my French)
    All these people that are against fire arms tend to forget history World War Two or are to dam young and fell asleep in school to remember the Japanese didn’t invade the USA do to knowing that almost every household had some kind of firearm. They knew not to send troops on our soil.(So they sent bombs by balloons in the jetstream to attack us) just in case anybody forgot.
    GUNS DON”T KILL PEOPLE PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE !!

  • Javis August 17, 2018, 4:50 pm

    Outraged at how so many Americans can be so manipulated by all these antigun lobbyists and media outlets. People don’t understand the fact and reality that criminals will always have guns, always! People can say, “well if they don’t have bullets they can’t shoot”, smh. Yes they can, bullets aren’t difficult to manufacture.

    I boil when I read articles like this, the thought of so many lambs and these newer generations. I’ll stop here before I go ranting on and make a novel out of this. #boycottshopify #shopifyantigun

    I’ll copy the list Luke provided and start winging off the other companies. I was getting tired of #Walmart not carrying ammo for my .357 sig anyways.

  • Z August 17, 2018, 3:05 pm

    So, this is an anti capitalism article? You know, the free market, laissez-faire approach to regulation, businesses are free to conduct themselves in any way that doesn’t violate the law or constitution, that capitalism. Bakers can decline to make cakes for gay weddings but not selling firearms related merchandise on their own websites is discrimination and an attack? Get the fuck out. I must have missed Jordan Michaels article about Kim Davis refusing to issue marriage licenses.

    • Penrod August 17, 2018, 4:11 pm

      You raise some good points, but the problem is the attitude that I get to discriminate against you, but you are going to be prosecuted for discriminating against me, even when your discrimination is explicitly protected by the Constitution.

      I think we would be better off repealing the public accomadation laws and letting people discriminate as they want. I won’t hold my breath for that to happen tho. In the meantime, I can at least empathize with the desire to make banks and credit card companies submit to the same laws used to prosecute and sue the bakers and wedding photographers.

      • Z August 18, 2018, 12:30 pm

        Bakers aren’t being persecuted for declining to sell Oatmeal Raisin cookies. Photographers aren’t being sued because they don’t offer Polaroids. The Constitution has a commerce clause as well as a second amendment. Ignoring one in support of the other is fundamentally wrong.

  • RGE August 17, 2018, 2:17 pm

    Though we are all free to do business with or not do business with people in society, banks and other financial institutions exist based on charters issued by state and federal governments and are heavily regulated. In exchange for their monopoly or “franchise” by which they are entitled to charge exorbitant fees, they are also required to process payments for lawful commerce.

    Therefore, the refusal to do business with people engaged in lawful enterprises is a terrible mistake and I suspect eventually a lawsuit or revocation of their charters will eventually result.

    I would urge those engaged in lawful trades being discriminated against, to file complaints with the Office of the Comptroller of Currency, the US Treasury and other federal and state officials charged with overseeing banking operations.

    When commerce is damaged, the economy does suffer. There are other ways of expressing corporate philosophies outside of outright discrimination.

    For instance, a bank may not discriminate on the basis of gender, race, religion, or creed. For to do so likely will violate the civil rights act and other federal laws designed to protect commerce from discriminatory practices.

    Likewise, gun owners have a right to quit doing business with banks and form their own companies and payment processors.

  • Michael A Keim August 17, 2018, 10:24 am

    Ah yes, the progressive ideal; if you don’t like it ban it or “reeducate”it. Remind you of any other countries?

    • Z August 19, 2018, 12:11 am

      How are you complaining about the free market doing exactly what it’s supposed to do? Should Christian book stores be required to sell pornography? Steak Houses have to sell vegetarian food? You sound like a Russian troll spouting nonsense for the sake of creating division.

  • Dieko August 17, 2018, 8:25 am

    Exactly what 0352 stated a kind of coop among gun owners, businesses. Get some of these conservatives with money to pool together they’d make great money.

  • Joe Henderson August 16, 2018, 4:29 pm

    nopCommerce is an excellent open-source eCommerce platform. Use it instead.

  • Sepp W August 15, 2018, 7:56 pm

    The federal government or Congress has to step in and stop the madness.

    • Luke August 17, 2018, 12:49 pm

      Or, we could do it ourselves. Here’s a list of anti-Constitution credit card providers, banks and insurance companies that I’ve cancelled. A local credit union can do everything a bank, credit card provider and insurance company can. Support your credit union.

      Here’s the list:

      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-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 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
      USN 1970-74

      • Z August 17, 2018, 3:18 pm

        Thank you, Luke. That’s a helpful list and a productive response to what’s taking place.

  • 0352 August 15, 2018, 5:25 pm

    The firearms industry needs to join forces to create their own data processing company along with a bank or credit union to provide funding when a gun/ammo company needs it. Perhaps the NRA with our 5 million+ members should initiate such businesses. It would seem to make sense.

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