Brian Moynihan


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Brian Moynihan

Brian Moynihan, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

The ATF’s allegedly objective factors regarding pistol stabilizing braces isn’t the only government proposal that’s worthy of your attention. On the other side of the ledger, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency is trying to stop the years-long trend of financial institutions — READ: too-big-to-fail banks and card processors — discriminating against firearm-related businesses. It’s an effective privatization of the Obama era Operation Choke Point program.

While the Trump administration ended the government-directed crackdown on gun makers, retailers and associated companies by denying them access to financial services, private firms such as Bank of America, Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, Quickbooks, PayPal, Stripe and others have instituted their own anti-gun policies, refusing to do business with a company if, for instance, a gun maker produces or a retailer sells AR-15 pattern rifles.

JP Morgan Chase

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Now the OCC has a proposed rule that would ban that kind of discrimination among lawful, but politically disfavored businesses and the National Shooting Sports Foundation is asking for the public to comment and support the measure.

Here’s the NSSF’s press release . . .

The NSSF®, the firearm industry’s trade association, is urging the public to comment on a Proposed Rule that would bring back fair and equitable access to financial services provided by financial institutions for industries that have suffered politically-driven discrimination. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency proposed the rule to ensure that decisions are made based on rigorous risk-based analyses, not the political whims of external advocacy groups seeking to make law through the policies of financial institutions.

The OCC has stated, “Nothing in the proposal would require a bank to offer a particular service; the proposal requires only that the financial services offered by a bank to some customers are offered on proportionally equal terms to all customers engaged in lawful activities.”

The firearm and ammunition industry strongly supports the OCC’s proposed rule. NSSF is urging individuals to comment, especially if they share the concern that financial institutions benefitting from taxpayer-subsidized insurances, like the FDIC, and bailouts are improperly and unlawfully discriminating against legal, but politically-disfavored, industries, including firearm and ammunition production and sales, as well as other industries including oil and gas, coal, animal agriculture and private prison industries.

The proposed rule provides the following requirements for large, national banks ($100 billion or more in total assets) to provide fair access:

  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

  1. Not deny, in coordination with others, any person a financial service the bank offers.

The public can make their voices heard in the Federal Rule-making process. The deadline for comment submission is Jan. 4, 2021 and can be submitted by accessing this link.

Firearm and ammunition manufacturers, distributors and retailers are devoted to supporting programs that promote the safe, responsible, and legal use of their products. Providing financial products and services to the firearm and ammunition industry is fully compatible with Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG) goals and policies increasingly implemented at financial institutions.

The firearm and ammunition industry is a legal, law-abiding and responsible partner with regulatory entities, law enforcement, and community groups. Our industry makes the exercise of the Second Amendment possible for over 100 million law abiding Americans. We produced $60 billion in total economic activity and employs roughly 151,000 people and support an additional 181,500 jobs in supplier and ancillary industries.

NSSF’s goal as an industry is to proactively promote Real Solutions for Safer Communities®.

Examples of such solutions include: Project ChildSafe®, Don’t Lie for the Other GuyTM, FixNICS®, Operation Secure Store®, and partnerships with American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

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