If there’s one depressing thing I do here at Bearing Arms, it’s writing about financial institutions which have unilaterally decided to stop doing business with lawful firearm companies because they don’t like the business they’re in. Like many, I’ve been trying to find a reason why this is happening. I can’t believe the entire financial industry is full of anti-gunners and nothing else.
That’s led to some speculation on my part.
However, a bill has now been introduced which seeks to completely eradicate the problem.
In response to banking institutions that have imposed policies against business related to the firearms industry in the wake of the deadly school shooting in Florida earlier in the year, Louisiana Republican Sen. John Kennedy proposed legislation prior the recess that would prohibit the federal government from granting contracts to banks that discriminate against lawful businesses and based only on social policy considerations.
The bill dropped just weeks before a court documents from a lawsuit advanced by payday lenders four years ago, revealed e-mails about the how the Obama administration planned out the now defunct Operation Choke Point—a campaign led by the FDIC that pressured banks to terminate their relationships with industries disfavored by the administration.
A member of the Senate Banking Committee, Kennedy says this bill should certify that “like Citigroup and Bank of America, which enacted policies infringing on the Second Amendment rights of businesses, will not be awarded lucrative federal government contracts.”
The No Red and Blue Banks Act comes on the heels of a March 22 announcement made by Citigroup which outlined firearms related requirements of its banking clients. This includes telling businesses as to what types of legal firearms and accessories they can sell and who they can legally sell to.
I’ll be honest, I don’t like the government telling anyone who they can’t do business with, but I’m also not a fan of the government telling businesses that they have to do business with anyone either.
Unfortunately, I don’t see an alternative. Especially since New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has made it clear that he will look disfavorably on any bank that doesn’t toe his line on guns. Seeing as his state has an oversized influence on the financial industry due to so many being headquartered in New York, this is a real problem.
It may take a bill like this to undermine Cuomo’s efforts. After all, if Cuomo tries to turn up the heat, the banks can point to the federal law and say, “What can we do? Our hands are tied.”
It’s pathetic that it’s come down to this, but pro-gun forces can’t just sit back and let the anti-gun extremists do whatever they want. I’d rather we all stay out of how the financial industry functions, but that’s not viable at this point, now is it? They picked the battleground. That means we either fight or we lose. Plain and simple.
Of course, all of this is a moot point if Republicans fail to hold onto both the House and the Senate. While some Democrats might side with the bill on general principle–after all, the bill isn’t just about guns–it’s unlikely that most will support it during these hyperpartisan times.
Yet another reason to get out and vote.