While the ATF has pulled back it’s proposed guidance on pistol stablizing braces after a flood of public comments in opposition, another government agency is still accepting input on a proposed rule that would actually be incredibly beneficial to both the firearms industry and the gun owners that the industry serves.
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is soliciting feedback on its proposed “Fair Access to Financial Services” rule, and on today’s Bearing Arms’ Cam & Co I talk with Second Amendment activist Dennis Santiago about the proposed rule and the impact that it would have if it takes effect.
Dennis has written a great explainer on the proposed rule over at RedState that’s worth reading in its entirety, but here’s the key bit:
It is called Chapter 12 of the Code of Federal Regulations. That is where all the rules for regulating America’s vast banking system are codified. Following years of complaints by companies that banks are denying them lending, credit and services, the Department of the Treasury’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has decided to act to reinforce its mandate to ensure fair access to banking and financial services to all legitimate businesses regardless of their political or philosophical persuasion.
The problem, as described in the OCC’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) is that banks have been practicing discriminatory “de-banking” of politically disfavored clientele.
The lightning rod of the problem began in the 2014 to 2016 timeframe when bank regulators instructed banks to cease access to services discrimination following the declaration to an end to Operation Chokepoint, a failed policy that attempted to use restrictions on the firearms industry to combat criminal activity related to the US War on Drugs under the premise of combatting money laundering. The fiasco exploded in the government’s face when a parallel program called Fast and Furious turned out to be one of the sources of that money laundering activity.
In the years 2016 to 2020, banks privatized the bad practices of Operation Chokepoint and continued to de-bank not just gun companies, but other “sindustries” such as oil exploration, correctional facilities, family planning organizations, independent non-bank owned automated teller machine networks, industrial farming, and other activities that are part of the overall landscape of a vast and vibrant US economy.
The OCC’s proposed rule would a stop to the politically and ideologically motivated discrimination by the largest financial institutions in the country by requiring them to:
(1) Make each financial service it offers available to all persons in the geographic market served by the covered bank on proportionally equal terms;
(2) Not deny any person a financial service the bank offers except to the extent justified by such person’s quantified and documented failure to meet quantitative, impartial risk-based standards established in advance by the covered bank;
(3) Not deny any person a financial service the bank offers when the effect of the denial is to prevent, limit, or otherwise disadvantage the person:
(i) From entering or competing in a market or business segment; or
(ii) In such a way that benefits another person or business activity in which the covered bank has a financial interest; and
(4) Not deny, in coordination with others, any person a financial service the bank offers.
This would be a huge boon to the firearms industry and other “sindustries” that are viewed with disdain by activists and woke corporate overlords, but the time to sound off on the proposed rule is running short. The public comment period ends at midnight on January 4th, so if you want to add your voice to the growing chorus of support for the measure you can submit your comment here.
Santiago tells me that there a number of identical scripted comments coming from gun control activists that have already been submitted, so it’s even more important that gun owners and Second Amendment advocates chime in as well. Look for a follow up with Dennis Santiago in the first weeks of the new year, but in the meantime don’t let Monday’s deadline pass before you add your comment to the thousands already received by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.