This article was published by The McAlvany Intelligence Advisor on Monday, April 30, 2018:
This writer remembers a time in this country when a customer could purchase a firearm over the counter at Sears. “Did you want some ammunition with your purchase, sir?” and out the door. No showing of a driver’s license. No Form 4473 to complete. No phone calls to the NICS to see if you had a criminal record.
Then came the Gun Control Act of 1968, and the war against the private ownership of firearms began in earnest. Most Americans weren’t aware that war had been declared until 1994, with the Clinton gun law banning semi-automatic rifles.
Since then, the NRA and its variants have awakened from their slumber, and, with the help of the internet, the war has been joined. The anti-gunners have used various tools in the war, from false-flag events to biased media coverage of them to the complete blackout of any news that supports the Second Amendment.
When Professor Gary Kleck discovered that Americans were using firearms to defend themselves more than two million times a year, the media promoted anyone who challenged his study. When Clinton asked the Centers of Disease Control to look into it and see if they could neutralize Kleck’s claims, the agency ran three of its own studies. Voila! Kleck was right! So the studies were buried and only discovered 25 years later when Kleck was doing some research on a related topic.
Now the attacks are much more blatant. Earlier this month, the Bank of America and Citigroup revised their banks’ policies, restricting loans to gun dealers and manufacturers, much like the recent “Operation Chokepoint” policy instituted during the Obama administration, which Trump overturned. Now the banks, and the major credit card companies, are implementing their own restrictions. When Senator Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, learned about it, he sent a letter to the CEO of each bank:
It is deeply concerning to me when large national banks … which receive significant forms of government support and benefits, use their market power to manage social policy by withholding access to credit to customers and companies they disfavor….
We should all be concerned if banks … seek to replace legislators and policymakers and attempt to manage social policy by limiting access to credit.
It’s not likely that Crapo’s veiled threats of withholding government financial support from these banks will have any impact. Citigroup’s Executive VP of Global Affairs is Ed Skyler, a former administrator in New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration. Bloomberg is anti-gun to the core, and has willingly largely supported the anti-gun Everytown for Gun Safety, which he co-chairs. Skyler lamented that politicians have been too slow in enacting anti-gun legislation – “common sense” legislation, of course – following the massacre in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead. Skyler went further by saying that BofA and Citigroup are just the first two banks to institute such policies. He intends to “convene those in the financial services industry and other stakeholders,” adding that Citigroup “hopes to leverage the collective action” of those groups in the form of sanctions on “all who sell firearms.” Of course, those sanctions would ultimately apply to any law-abiding citizen who wants purchase a firearm using a credit card. If the firearm is not on the banks’ approved list, the transaction would be denied by the bank or the credit card company.
Investigative journalists with the Wall Street Journal learned through anonymous sources that not only would the card companies be instituting new codes to identify the offending customers, but would ultimately put in place mechanisms that would stop credit card transactions from going through when a customer was trying to purchase a firearm deemed to be “disfavored,” according to the new banks’ policies.
Of course Citigroup denies any such infringements are taking place. Speaking at his bank’s annual meeting, CEO Michael Corbat assured his stockholders that all his company is trying to do is “preserve the rights of responsible gun owners like myself, while relying on best practices to keep firearms out of the wrong hands,” with a bank spokesman adding that the bank’s new policy “does not impact the ability of Citi customers to use their credit and debit cards for the legal purchase of firearms.”
At least not at the moment. Discussion, according to the Journal, is in the “early stages,” but the end game is clear: the day is not far off when a law-abiding American citizen will try to purchase a firearm not on the banks’ approved lists using a credit card, and the transaction will be denied.
The Wall Street Journal: Banks, Credit-Card Companies Explore Ways to Monitor Gun Purchases