Missouri set to hammer banks who cut off gun industry

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File

For a while there, it seemed we couldn’t go a week without someone in the gun industry reporting that their financial institutions had decided to cut them off without warning. We saw plenty of examples of it happening, so it was far from an isolated thing.

The state of Missouri was watching. Now, lawmakers are looking to do something to try and prevent that from happening again.

Missouri’s legislature is set to consider legislation to curtail discrimination by banks against companies that are involved in the manufacture or sale or firearms.

SB 1048, is known as the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act, and is sponsored by Republican State Sen. Rick Brattin, Breitbart reports.

The bills come in response to anti-gun advocates who have shifted focus after their failure to enact restrictive gun laws at the national level. Among their new tactics are to pursue banks and other entities not to work with businesses involved with firearms.

Basically, the bill doesn’t tell banks they can’t cut off the firearm industry. What it says is that they can’t do that if they want to do business with state entities.

Frankly, I have no issue with this.

While I tend to argue that the government shouldn’t be part of the decision-making process for private businesses, this doesn’t actually tell those businesses what they can and can’t do. Instead, they’re taking the same role any consumer can by saying they won’t do business with anyone who is diametrically opposed to their values.

It’s up to the banks to decide if they want Missouri’s business or not. They’re free to make whatever decision they choose to make.

However, if they make the wrong one, they’re likely to lose out on lucrative business with the state of Missouri. Any state government is going to be able to generate serious profits for any financial institution.

Plus, now that a certain New York governor left office in disgrace over sexual harassment allegations, there’s less pressure on them in that state to discriminate against the gun industry.

And Missouri isn’t unique in this. A number of states already have such laws and it seems still others are considering them. Arizona, for example, is close to passing a similar bill.

Couple all of those states together and banks are going to have to decide if they really want to alienate so many large potential customers. Couple that with the smaller customers that will leave any financial institution that opts to discriminate against gun companies and the calculus isn’t exactly difficult to figure out.

If companies don’t want to do business with the gun industry, they still can. That’s the right of those who make the decisions.

They’ll just have to explain to their board of directors why they’re now bleeding money and customers after leadership made those decisions. I’m not a CEO, but I’m pretty sure no one wants to be forced to have that conversation.

Frankly, they can cry me a freaking river if they do, though, because they’re getting plenty of warning from now on. They know what will happen.

Missouri’s right to consider this bill and I pray it passes. I pray every state passes such a law. They won’t, but a guy can dream.