Barely a decade ago all of the largest banks in the nation received bailout money from taxpayers in an effort to stave off an economic freefall. In repayment for assistance when they needed it, these banks are now using corporate boardrooms to push American public policy and take the decision making away from the citizens and elected officials they chose to represent them.
Some of the Largest Banks are Targeting Law Abiding Gun Owners
Both Citigroup and Bank of America have changed their corporate guidelines which will prevent law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional rights. Citigroup recently announced that they would not do business with companies that fail to limit gun owner rights. Their new policy dictates that all new clients and partners in the retail sector must prohibit the sale of standard-capacity magazines to citizens aged 18-20 years-old in an effort to curtail the gun ownership rights of Americans in that age group.
Citigroup’s Vice President of Global Public Affairs, Ed Skyler who was previously employed by the Michael Bloomberg administration, claimed that politicians have been too hesitant to trample on second amendment rights and they feel the need to “convene those in the financial services industry and other stakeholders” with the hopes “to leverage [the] collective action” of financial institutions in order to foist their restrictions on “all who sell firearms.”
Following suit, Bank of America has set their sights on curtailing second amendment freedoms by targeting firearm manufacturers. Vice Chairmen Anne M Finucane announced that the bank would no longer allow lending to firearm manufacturers that produce certain popular semi-automatic firearms.
Finucane went on to explain Bank of America’s position saying that they oppose the civilian use of firearms and will no longer allow financing for companies that create military-style firearms distributed for civilian use.
While recent studies have shown that this type of retail banning will do little unless combined with a required confiscation policy, Citigroup may be directing their retailers to go against the law by employing discrimination in retail settings to comply with their demands. For example, Michigan’s anti-discrimination statute, the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act:
“bans age discrimination in retail sales, and § 37.2701 likewise provides that no person shall “[a]id, abet, incite, compel, or coerce a person to engage in a violation of this act” or “[w]illfully obstruct or prevent a person from complying with this act” or “interfere with a person in the exercise or enjoyment of … any right granted or protected by this act.”
Were a credit card company to cause retail companies to purposely discriminate against 18-to-20-year olds and restrict the enjoyment of their constitutional rights, they would be responsible for causing their customers to violate anti-discrimination laws throughout the U.S.
Citigroup Attacks Safety Measure Protecting Second Amendment Rights
In addition to the restrictions imposed on 18-to-20-year-olds, Citigroup has instructed their retailers to not sell a firearm to anyone who has not passed a background check. While federal law already requires a background check to be conducted, “instant” NICS background checks aren’t always instant and sometimes additional time is required to process a request.
To protect civilians from being deprived of their second amendment rights for a problem with the system, FFL dealers are allowed to proceed with the transfer of ownership of the firearm three business days after the check has been started. The FBI will then have 90 days to complete the process and if the firearm purchaser is deemed prohibited after the evaluations, the ATF will be contacted to retrieve the gun.
This safety system was created due to the FBI’s acknowledgment that delays can occur due to the fact that some government records were incomplete. In a 2016 NICS report, it was found that out of the 11% of background checks that experienced delays, only 1.2% resulted in denied purchases.
By requiring retailers to ignore the federal three-day safety provision they are not only leaving the purchaser with an indefinite waiting period for their firearm purchase but denying the rights of citizens who can legally own a firearm.
Fortunately for law-abiding gun owners, there are a few lawmakers in Congress who are supporting citizens’ second amendment rights and chastising the large banks for their behavior. Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana stated, “the very fact that Citi remains operational is due entirely to the generosity of the American taxpayer.”
He further went on to warn them about “penalizing Americans who choose to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights.”
It is essential that law-abiding citizens, along with politicians let these large banks know that they have no place dictating policies by restricting a citizen’s second amendment rights.
~ American Gun News