With just a couple weeks remaining in the Kentucky legislative session, time is running low to ensure that the state Senate votes on House Bill 175. Sponsored by Republican state Rep. Savannah Maddox and passed out of the Kentucky General Assembly with a 73-24 vote, HB 175, titled the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination Act (or FIND Act), would make it illegal for financial institutions in Kentucky to discriminate against the firearm industry.
HB 175 is an attempt to head off the Biden administration’s efforts to reinstate “Operation Choke Point,” a re-run from the Obama era which sought to deny banking, credit card, and other financial services to customers the firearm industry. As an FFL, retailer, and manufacturer myself (Black Collar Arms), I can attest to the ongoing frustration of having to navigate terms of service for literally everything in the sales and marketing process.
Domain registrar, hosting company, shopping cart and other web store software, payment processor, email marketing software, accounting software, and social media platforms are just some of the mandatory services that leading companies in each of those spaces (e.g. GoDaddy, Shopify, Square, PayPal, Quicken, Google, etc etc) refuse to provide to the firearm industry.
Even in Kentucky, there’s strong pressure from the anti-gun side of the aisle to throw a wrench into HB 175. For instance, the Kentucky Bankers Association has asked Rep. Maddox for the names and contact information of every party claiming to have been discriminated against by the banking industry in the state along with proof that they then contacted a sufficient number of competing institutions to try and obtain services elsewhere.
They’re demanding the information for the express purpose of potentially challenging the legality of HB 175, which simply seeks to protect lawful commerce. Here’s the letter the KBA’s attorney sent to Rep. Maddox:
Government pressure to discourage or even legally prevent the financial industry from providing services to the firearm industry is an underhanded way of instituting gun control and a blatant attempt to circumvent the democratic process.
If you live in Kentucky, calling your state senator(s) would be a good way of supporting passage of the bill and ensuring that those involved in the firearms business aren’t subjected to this kind of discrimination. Again.