Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

Friday, April 13, 2018

Bailed-out Banks Launch Coordinated Attack on Law-abiding Gun Owners

There is growing evidence that some of America’s financial elite want to create a world in which America’s public policy decisions emanate from corporate boardrooms in Manhattan rather than from citizens and their elected officials.  This was demonstrated in recent weeks when both Citigroup and Bank of America announced changes to their corporate guidelines aimed at preventing law-abiding Americans from exercising their constitutional rights.

According to Citigroup’s new policy, the nation’s fourth largest bank will withhold business from companies that fail to sufficiently curtail the Second Amendment rights of their customers. Specifically, the policy requires “new retail sector clients or partners” to refrain from selling standard-capacity magazines, to prohibit the sale of firearms to law-abiding adults aged 18 to 20 years-old, and to ignore a vital statutory safety valve provision that permits a Federal Firearms Licensee (FFL) to transfer a firearm three days after a background check has been initiated. Citigroup has also stated that it will further scrutinize the firearms manufacturers they do business with.

Bank of America’s policy targets firearms manufacturing. During an April 10 interview with Bloomberg Television, Bank of America Vice Chairman Anne M. Finucane announced that the company no longer intends to lend money to firearms manufacturers that produce certain configurations of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms. Making clear that Bank of America only opposes civilian access to semi-automatic firearms, Finucane stressed to the anti-gun news outlet that the bank will no longer finance “military-style firearms” for “civilian use.”

In a March 22 blog post announcing Citigroup’s policy change, Citigroup Executive Vice President of Global Public Affairs Ed Skyler lamented that politicians have been too reticent to trample upon the rights of their constituents, and that this respect for the U.S. Constitution prompted Citigroup to act. Before joining Citigroup, Skyler worked for the administration of New York City Mayor and gun control financier Michael Bloomberg.

Skyler also made clear that Citigroup intends to “convene those in the financial services industry and other stakeholders” to push their anti-gun agenda. In a sentence sure to pique the interest of antitrust regulators, Skyler noted that the financial giant “hope[s] to leverage [the] collective action” of financial institutions in order to foist their restrictions on “all who sell firearms.” Using proper gun control advocate vernacular, Skyler referred to Citigroup’s new restrictions as “common-sense.” 

In relation to Citigroup’s restriction on standard-capacity magazines and Bank of America’s attack on commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms, both private and publicly funded studies have determined that such measures would be ineffective. Most recently, a report from the Rand Corporation, titled “The Science of Gun Policy,” examined the available research on a host of gun control proposals. Rand found that the evidence of the effects of bans on the sale of commonly-owned semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines was “inconclusive.” A 2013 Department of Justice National Institute of Justice survey of the available research determined that in order to have any potential impact, a ban on standard capacity magazines would need to be coupled with an “extensive” confiscation effort.

With its age restriction policy, Citigroup may also be encouraging some of its retail business partners to violate state and local discrimination laws. As UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh pointed out on his influential blog, the Volokh Conspiracy, Citigroup “must exempt retailers' actions in those no-age-discrimination states.” As Volokh explained “When a law bans some action, it also usually (explicitly or implicitly) bans others from trying to cause that action.”

As an example, Volokh pointed to Michigan’s anti-discrimination statute, writing,

the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act (Mich. Comp. Laws. §§ 37.2301-.2304) 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." If a credit card company demands that stores illegally discriminate, then it's inciting, compelling, and coercing violations within the meaning of the law, obstructing the stores' complying with the law, and interfering with 18-to-20-year-olds' enjoyment of rights granted by the law.

Citigroup’s other gun control measure requires that retailers “don’t sell firearms to someone who hasn’t passed a background check.” Of course, firearms retailers are already required by federal law to conduct a background check on all prospective purchasers. What Citigroup is attacking here is an important safety-valve that ensures that Americans are not denied their Second Amendment rights as a result of government malice or incompetence.

The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is supposed to be instant. However, some checks require further research by a NICS Examiner to resolve. Federal law provides that in these cases a FFL may proceed with a firearms transfer after three business days if “the system has not notified the [FFL] that the receipt of a firearm by [the buyer or transferee] would [violate federal law.]” Even if the firearm is transferred, FBI continues their attempt to resolve the background check for 90 days. If a purchaser is determined to be prohibited after receiving a firearm, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is notified and there is an effort to retrieve the gun.

Significant delays can and do happen through no fault of the prospective purchaser. The FBI has noted that delays can occur due to a purchaser sharing similar personal characteristics (such as age, date of birth, height, or weight) to a prohibited individual, or because government records are incomplete. According to the 2016 NICS Operations Report, 11 percent of NICS background checks were delayed for additional review. Only 1.2 percent of prospective firearms purchasers were then denied.

By forcing the retailers it deals with to ignore the three day safety-valve provision, Citigroup is endorsing an indefinite firearms waiting period and will be complicit in restricting the rights of innocent Americans. An affront to due process, their policy circumvents the government’s burden of conclusively proving that a person has a prohibiting record before the individual is denied their constitutional rights.

Thankfully, some lawmakers have refused to take this attack on Second Amendment rights lying down. On March 29, Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.), who sit on the Senate Banking Committee, issued a stern warning to Citigroup CEO Michael L. Corbat. Sen. Kennedy urged Citigroup to refrain from “penalizing Americans who choose to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights,” and instead to focus on the company’s many shortcomings. Sen. Kennedy also reminded Corbat that “The very fact that Citi remains operational is due entirely to the generosity of the American taxpayers.”

According to an article from Politico, Sen. Kennedy has also urged the General Services Administration to cease its relationship with the bank. Moreover, the office of Senate Banking Chairman Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) is reported to have taken a significant interest in Citigroup’s anti-gun policy. 

Citigroup, Bank of America, and other major corporations would do well to recognize that the American voter, through their elected representatives, has repeatedly rejected restrictions on their Second Amendment rights. Moreover, in the case of these banks, shareholders should question the wisdom of corporate leadership that would willfully alienate pro-gun voters and lawmakers.

 

TRENDING NOW
Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Biden Reiterates Call to Ban 9mm Handguns

During a July 21 CNN “presidential town hall,” Joe Biden expressed his support for a ban on commonly-owned handguns. Responding to a question about the recent increase in violent crime, the career politician stated,

Great Expectations, Empty Promises: Gun Control in Washington State

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

Great Expectations, Empty Promises: Gun Control in Washington State

For years, voters in the Evergreen State have been assured that if only they approve certain gun control ballot initiatives, they would “save lives” and reduce crime. The Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), the organization pushing ...

How Anti-Gun Research Works

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

How Anti-Gun Research Works

The objective world mistrusts most gun policy research because it’s clear the objective is to produce an anti-gun outcome rather than honest analysis. Politicians and professional activists claim the mantle of evidence but will ignore ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

St. Louis Prosecutor Kim Gardner Ignores Violent Crime While Playing Politics with Gun Owners

News  

Monday, July 26, 2021

St. Louis Prosecutor Kim Gardner Ignores Violent Crime While Playing Politics with Gun Owners

Similar to many other urban areas of the country, St. Louis saw a dramatic increase in homicide in 2020. The Gateway to the West’s homicide rate per 100 thousand residents exploded from 64.5 in 2019 to 87.2 in 2020. The homicide ...

Louisiana: Betrayal at the Capitol

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Louisiana: Betrayal at the Capitol

Yesterday, SB 118, Constitutional Carry, was defeated due to several Senators reversing their initial vote of support on the bill.  Two of the Senators who flip-flopped were Senators Patrick Connick (SD-8) and Louie Bernard (SD-31). 

Students “School” Antigun Education Officials on Civil Rights, Receive Large Settlements in Court Cases

News  

Monday, July 19, 2021

Students “School” Antigun Education Officials on Civil Rights, Receive Large Settlements in Court Cases

Last September we reported on the saga of Ka'Mauri Harrison, a Louisiana elementary school student who was suspended for having a BB gun that happened to come into view while the fourth grader was participating in online ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Monday, June 30, 2014

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

NRA-ILA Applauds Rep. Claudia Tenney and U.S. House of Representatives’ Amicus Brief Supporting Second Amendment Case Before Supreme Court

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

NRA-ILA Applauds Rep. Claudia Tenney and U.S. House of Representatives’ Amicus Brief Supporting Second Amendment Case Before Supreme Court

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court decided to hear the NRA-ILA backed case challenging New York’s restrictive concealed-carry-licensing regime. NRA-ILA’s opening brief is located here.

Massachusetts: Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearing Tomorrow!

Monday, July 26, 2021

Massachusetts: Gun Bills Scheduled for Committee Hearing Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, the Joint Committee on the Judiciary will hold public hearings on both pro- and anti-gun bills.

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.