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2nd Amendment Blindsided by Surprising Source

The 2nd Amendment might not survive the most recent attacks from an unlikely source.

Policy

The bank typically contacts the company with short notice, somewhere around thirty days is the average.  It comes in a phone call. Nothing is written down by the bank that can create a paper trail that the denial was based on arbitrary prejudice against a company. The termination letters say only that on such and such a date all accounts will be closed, any outstanding fees deducted from balances, and cashier’s checks will be mailed to the former customer.  No regrets. No goodbyes. This is gaslighting, the business edition.

Cloak and Dagger Bullying

It is a dark, murky, under the table world when a bank decides to cut off lending, credit and services to a firearms company.  It leaves companies bullied, fearful and gun shy. Even after finding a new banker, which typically takes three to four attempts, their lawyers counsel flying low to avoid the radar.

Company officers interviewed for this article have shared their tales of betrayal. It’s all off the record. They are unwilling to air their grievances in public. They fear for themselves. They also fear for their new banker becoming the target of social media’s viral activism.

Between the notice and the end date, the company embarks on a journey looking for a new bank. Their healthy balance sheets, strong income statements, robust sales flowing through their merchant services accounts taking in orders over the phone and online, and payroll services all looking for a new home. These are the characteristics of businesses that US commercial banks should be competing to add to their client book.

But the companies quickly find that its not that easy to open new accounts; not even at banks that they had formerly done business with.  The branch manager may be happy to sign up the company.  But as soon as the account is passed up the line, risk managers at the corporate level intercede. A game of questions to which answers only raise more questions begins slowly wearing down the company’s patience.

Basically, the bank wants the company to decide to go away without having to say no.  Once again, it is all verbal.  Nothing gets written down that might implicate the bank that it is engaging in unfair business practices.  All the while, the clock counts down to the day when the company has merchant service to process orders at points of sale or online, no way to pay employees, not even a checking account.

Hushed Tones

These days, gun companies mostly rely on each other to find bankers who will quietly take their business. But they must never be named. These banks don’t advertise that they want the business. They are nearly impossible to find unless you know someone who will refer you in the same way people found speakeasies during Prohibition.

Sadly, criminal cartels probably have an easier time laundering money than legitimate businesses in disfavored industries doing millions of dollars of legal business have obtaining the lending, credit, and services they deserve.

It’s Getting Worse

It’s important to note that the banks know they are skirting the law here.  The issue of fair access to bank services was settled in rules laid down in 2015 at the end of Operation Chokepoint, an initiative that denied banking services to companies was declared defunct. But some banks continued the practice setting up a “Banking vs. the Second Amendment” fight that I wrote about in January 2020.

As recently as July 2020, the practice continues with banks quietly carrying on with their maximize plausible denial methods.

Wells Fargo Risks Reputation Over Private “Chokepoint” Policy Against Gun Industry

 As Gun Industry Continues to Be Shunned by Banks, Regulators Move to Enforce Fair Access

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  1. Tell the bank if you do this, we will all close our accounts and move our money to a bank that protects our civil rights!

  2. Who voted for this communist basterd Remember this Democrats are just in it for the power and control this people could care less for the American People. They gave Trump hell this last 4 years but the min the Democratss get in office they think they are above the law there only taking orders from China president Biden is a sell out and a trader against the united states of America if People would of voted for Trump we would not be dealing with this old basterd trying to take away are guns. And to top it off they are releasing thousands of violent criminals in the population it just dont make sence how this Democrats think they want are guns there releasing dangerous criminals back to the streets we are in the middle of conflict with china and all other communist country’s Biden and Harris should be arrested for betrail against there own country things will ge ugly this new years get ready for a blood bath while Bonker joe watches all the action from his monitor inside his bonker this people are evil and want to bring the country down All Americans need to stick together and fight back itss not about republican or democrat now it’s about are freedom Biden is not president of this country China is Harris Husband works for china. Does this makes sense to any body or is every body blinded.

  3. Stop doing business with these banks if you own a gun. This would make those banks pucker up! This should make them get in shape. Can you just imagine how many people in the U.S. own guns and for the banks to start losing these customers would be a big lose to them. Maybe this would make them straighten up

  4. Sounds like Wells Fargo has a lot of problems, first to cry wolf! Why should the hard working people use a bank that does not cater to them? Low interest, high charges, many fees and you can not even deposit cash without an ID – what does that tell you? also limited to what you can take out of “your” account, why? They do not follow the lawful rules of banking.

  5. Gun owners should ask thier bank if they work with gun companies , if thier bank says no ,,,, it’s simple , pull everything and switch to a bank that does . As stated before ,, two can play that game .

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