AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File
Ever since Parkland, we’ve had a major problem. In the public outrage that followed the mass shooting, coupled with efforts by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, banks have been making life difficult for the firearm industry. Several gun-related businesses have run into problems as financial institutions have effectively cut them off from services.
Now, the state of Louisiana is trying to fight back against the burning stupid.
On a vote of 66-28, the Louisiana House approved legislation Monday to prohibit banks with gun control policies from refusing to do business with companies that sell or make firearms.
Louisiana residents want to protect their rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the right to keep and bear arms, said Rep. Blake Miguez, the Erath Republican and chief sponsor of the legislation.
He said the big corporations were pushing their own political agenda from their board rooms. “This protects against a discriminatory action,” Miguez said.
HB413 would prohibit a bank, credit union, financial institution, payment processor, savings and loan association, or trust company from refusing to provide financial services to a person, association or business is engaged in buying, selling or manufacturing firearms.
“Without financing, these businesses could go out of business overnight,” Miguez said of gun dealers, shooting ranges and others in the industry.
It shouldn’t have to be this way.
Further, I’m not sure how much of an impact this will have on anti-gun banks. After all, Louisiana isn’t exactly the most powerful state in the nation.
Still, it’s an important step and one I’d like to see other states take. While I tend to be a pretty pro-business guy, one who believes businesses should be able to do what they wish, I’m not convinced that all of this is the result of what businesses want. The governor of New York has been pushing for this for a while now. How much of it was succumbing to pressure from Cuomo?
I hope that the effort by Louisiana and, hopefully, other states will tip the balance enough that banks will make their own choices moving forward.
I suspect that financial institutions will be hard pressed to continue their discriminatory policies when it starts to impact their bottom line, and especially when stockholders are less than thrilled to see their holdings become worthless. That will direct serious change in leadership of these companies and eventually right the ship to a point where the banks will be in the business of being banks and not advancing a political agenda.
That’s not going to happen without some outside stimulus, and Louisiana has taken a necessary first step toward providing one. Unfortunately, that leads to the question of whether or not anyone else out there has the courage to follow.
I certainly hope so. The Second Amendment is far too important to let this stand as is.