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
NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

Monday, April 1, 2024

NRA Scores Legal Victory Against ATF; “Pistol Brace Rule” Enjoined From Going Into Effect Against NRA Members

NRA Members Among the Largest Class Protected from Draconian Rule

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

News  

Monday, May 20, 2024

Bob Barr Elected NRA President, Doug Hamlin Elected to Serve as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO

Today, the Board of Directors of the National Rifle Association of America elected former U.S. Congressman Bob Barr as President of the NRA and Doug Hamlin as NRA Executive Vice President & CEO. The meeting ...

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

News  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Anti-Gun Democrats’ (Yet Again) Unable to Hide Their Contempt for Ordinary Americans

It has become a tradition in recent elections for anti-gun Democrats to condescendingly refer to opposition voters as too stupid and bigoted to act in their own best interests. 

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

NRA Files Amicus Brief with U.S. Supreme Court Supporting American Firearms Manufacturers in Lawsuit Brought by Mexico

Fairfax, Virginia – Today, NRA filed an amicus brief with the United States Supreme Court in Smith & Wesson Brands, Inc. v. Estados Unidos Mexicanos.

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Monday, May 20, 2024

New York: Senate Majority Democrats Moving More Gun Control in Albany This Week

Although New York has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, anti-gun politicians continue to come up with more bad ideas. 

NRA-ILA Announces Lawsuit Challenging Delaware’s New Permit-to-Purchase Law

Sunday, May 19, 2024

NRA-ILA Announces Lawsuit Challenging Delaware’s New Permit-to-Purchase Law

Fairfax, Virginia – May 19, 2024…Today, NRA-ILA announced a lawsuit challenging Delaware’s new permit-to-purchase law.

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

News  

Friday, April 12, 2024

With a Stroke of the Pen, Biden ATF Criminalizes Tens of Thousands of Private Firearm Sellers

We have long been warning of the rule the Biden ATF has been preparing to redefine who is considered a firearm “dealer” under U.S. law.  The administration’s explicit objective was to move as close to so-called “universal background ...

NRA’s Political Victory Fund Endorses President Donald J. Trump

News  

Saturday, May 18, 2024

NRA’s Political Victory Fund Endorses President Donald J. Trump

Today, the National Rifle Association's Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) is honored to announce its full endorsement of President Donald J. Trump for re-election to a second term as President of the United States of America. ...

Law Enforcement Officers and the “Freedom to be Safe” in Biden’s America

News  

Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Law Enforcement Officers and the “Freedom to be Safe” in Biden’s America

A proclamation issued by President Joe Biden on May 10 to mark “Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Officer Week” included a recital of measures to support police officers and “keep law enforcement on the beat and ...

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Bill Rolled into Large Omnibus Bill and Passed in the Legislature

Monday, May 20, 2024

Minnesota: Anti-Gun Bill Rolled into Large Omnibus Bill and Passed in the Legislature

Last night, House and Senate Democrats incorporated language from House File 2609, a bill that banned certain firearm triggers, into House File 5247, a large omnibus bill that addressed a variety of issues un-related to ...

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.