Shortly after SHOT Show last month, a couple of FFL dealers began having issues with financial institutions cutting off merchant accounts for “violating” the user agreements, Bearing Arms has learned exclusively.
Montana Tactical, located in Bozeman, unexpectedly received an email from Intuit, a credit card processing company, saying Montana Tactical’s transactions are considered “MOTO business” (mail order/telephone order). Intuit declined to continue servicing Montana Tactical because the store sells firearms, ammunition and gun powder.
“Aaron [owner of Montana Tactical] only sells ammunition through the physical storefront and does not sell loose powder,” Mark Oliver, Public Affairs Manager for the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), told Bearing Arms.
To help clear the air, Oliva reached out to Rob Lanesey, Intuit’s Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Chief Communications Officers.
Subject: Inquiry from Press Room
Please forgive the cold call email. I left you a message earlier today on your phone.
I’m reaching out because one of our member companies, Montana Tactical (http://www.montanatactical.com/), recently received notification that Intuit terminated their business relationship with them under your MOTO rules and because they sell gunpowder and weapons.
I think there might be a misunderstanding of what Montana Tactical is and the sort of business they are in.
Montana Tactical is a fully-compliant Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) dealer, licensed through the ATF to deal in firearms. Their firearms sales are all completed with a NICS background check, in compliance with federal and state laws.
They have a physical store and provide sales through the internet, which must also be completed by a NICS background check at a designated FFL. In other words, if I were to complete a purchase for a firearm from another state, that would still be need a face-to-face transfer through a licensed FFL to which Montana Tactical would ship that firearm for transfer subsequent to passing the background check.
That means no one can order a firearm through the internet or over the phone and have it delivered directly. This is federal law.
Additionally, Montana Tactical does not sell loose gunpowder. They do sell encased ammunition, but only through their physical storefront. They do not sell ammunition by internet or phone based orders.
In speaking with Mr. Hagen, the owner of Montana Tactical, he said he received notification from Intuit via email that his business relationship was being terminated at Intuit’s initiative for the above reasons. There was no opportunity for Mr. Hagen to discuss this, answer questions or explain his situation before this decision was made. We believe this may have been a decision based on a lack of complete understanding of the legal business Mr. Hagen is partaking in, while maintaining compliance with federal law and ATF regulations.
We’ve had both state legislative and Congressional interest in Mr. Hagen’s situation. We wanted to reach out to Intuit to allow for a correction before we took any further action on behalf of our member business.
I’ve copied Mr. Hagen on this email should you have any direct questions for him. I appreciate your consideration and look forward to hearing from you.
Manager, Public Affairs
National Shooting Sports Foundation
Of course, no one returned the NSSF’s email or phone call.
“It was like crickets,” Olive said.
The sad part is Montana Tactical isn’t the only FFL who has had or continues to have these problems.
Larry Reynolds, the owner of Valdez Marine and Outdoors in Valdez, AK, is facing similar issues but this time with Square. Square will no longer provide credit card processing for Reynolds’ business because he sells firearms, even though he has used the service for the last two to three years with no issue until now.
According to Michael Montgomery of Class III Enterprises in Brentwood, TN, Intuit denied credit card processing for their store in 2014. They denied processing his payments because he sold firearms, gun parts, accessories and clothing on ebay, Gunbroker, SubGuns and other ecommerce platforms.