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Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

Friday, March 22, 2019

Pro-Gun Senators Introduce Bill to Prohibit Discrimination in Financial Services

On March 14, pro-gun Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced S. 821 the Freedom Financing Act, a bill to prohibit discrimination against the firearms industry in the provision of financial services.

We have long been reporting on how anti-gun activists are seeking to use access to financial services as a means to punish and suppress lawful firearm-related commerce.

First came Operation Choke Point, a supposed “anti-fraud” effort during the Obama administration that morphed into a campaign by federal regulators to intimidate banks and payment processers into refusing business with politically disfavored clients, including firearm-related businesses. That program was officially repudiated by the Trump Administration, but for some businesses, the damage had already been done.

Anti-gunners next turned directly to the financial service providers themselves, extorting them with “social justice” condemnation for “financing” mass shootings and insisting they drop their firearm industry clients or impose gun control-like conditions on doing business with them. Several national banks did just that.  

Activist institutional investors in publicly-traded gun companies also tried to embarrass those companies with proxy actions designed to portray the businesses in a negative light. To date, those efforts have been largely unsuccessful.   The Freedom Financing Act aims to put a stop to this discrimination by ensuring that banks participating in certain federal programs – as well as credit card companies, credit unions, and users of the Automated Clearing House Network -- cannot refuse business with law-abiding federal firearm licensees for political or “reputational” reasons.

More recently, anti-gun members of Congress have reverted to Choke Point-like tactics in a continuing effort to intimidate banks and marginalize law-abiding businesses in the firearm sector. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) went so far as to berate the president and CEO of Wells Fargo Bank during a public oversight hearing for refusing to buckle to the pressure of the anti-gun lobby’s demands.

“How bad does the mass shooting epidemic have to get before you will adopt common sense gun safety policies like other banks have done?” Maloney demanded to know.

To his credit, the Wells Fargo executive stood firm, replying, “We just don’t believe that it is a good idea to encourage banks to enforce legislation that doesn’t exist.”

The Freedom Financing Act aims to put a stop to this discrimination by ensuring that banks participating in certain federal programs – as well as credit card companies, credit unions, and users of the Automated Clearing House Network -- cannot refuse business with law-abiding federal firearm licensees for political or “reputational” reasons.

It is important to keep in mind that the national banks targeted by this legislation owe their very existence in large part to government and taxpayer largesse. Among other things, they benefit from public bailouts and federally-subsidized loan programs, as well as from infrastructure financed or subsidized by the government.

Private businesses generally enjoy broad discretion in setting their own policies and objectives, as is appropriate in our free market system. But exclusionary politics in the financial services industries hearken back to some of the most shameful episodes in American history. They are rightfully condemned, and have long been rightfully prohibited in other contexts.

The NRA thanks Sens. Cramer and Kennedy for their leadership in this important effort and commends the bill for swift action by the Senate.  

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

Thursday, April 18, 2019

California: DOJ Issues “Notice of Modification” to Proposed Ammunition Background Check Regulations

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Idaho: Governor Signs Important Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

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NRA Statement on New York City's Desperate Attempt to Avoid Supreme Court Review

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Friday, April 12, 2019

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NRA reacts to New York City's attempt to avoid having the NRA-supported Supreme Court case N.Y. State Rifle & Pistol Association, et al. v. City of N.Y., et al heard in DC. 

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Another Day, Another Hearing with Anti-Gun Democrats Grandstanding on Firearms

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee held a hearing it called, “Holding Megabanks Accountable: A Review of Global Systemically Important Banks 10 years after the Financial Crisis.” If you are wondering what that could ...

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Swiss to Vote on Implementation of EU Gun Controls

On May 19, Swiss citizens will go to the polls to vote in a referendum that will determine whether the peaceful mountain nation will acquiesce to the mandates of the European Firearms Directive. The Swiss have a proud ...

Texas: House to Consider Reform Measure Protecting the Right-to-Carry During Emergencies

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Get the Hect Outta Here: Police Chief Suspended After Students Complain About Pro-Gun "Likes"

Smith and Mount Holyoke Colleges are two liberal arts institutions for women in the western part of Massachusetts. Both share a campus police department that until recently was overseen by Chief Daniel Hect, who took command ...

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Oregon: Gun Control Package Sent To Another Committee

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Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

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Friday, April 12, 2019

Canadian Senate Committee Rejects Handgun Ban Amendment; Issues Bill C-71 Report

Early this week, Canada’s Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence (SECD) met to review and vote on Bill C-71, the Liberal Government’s gun control measure, section by section. This review follows several days of testimony ...

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.