One of the first things the BidenHarris administration did after taking power in January was to kill the previous administration’s effort to prevent financial institutions from discriminating against certain lawful business segments…namely firearms manufacturers, retailers and others in the business.
Back when old Joe was just a young Veep, the Obama administration had instituted Operation Choke Point to pressure lenders, credit card processors and others in the financial services business to cut off their gun industry customers. After Trump took office, that ended, but the discrimination continued. Firms like Bank of America, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase, Intuit, Square and others privatized the Obama administration’s anti-gun efforts, refusing to do business with some manufacturers, retailers and related firms.
As his administration was winding down, Trump directed the OCC, which regulates national and federally chartered savings banks, to draft a rule prohibiting these discriminatory business practices. That should have been done much earlier in his administration, rather than as an afterthought. By doing it while he was a lame duck, it was probably intended as a poison pill for the incoming Democrat administration.
By almost immediately stopping that rulemaking process, once he took office, President BidenHarris let it be known to all who were paying attention that he’s a big fan of the privatized version of Operation Choke Point.
The BidenHarris action provoked the introduction of a bill in Congress to ban that kind of activity. Senators Kevin Cramer of North Dakota and John Kennedy of Louisiana introduced S821, the Freedom Financing Act, but that bill is a dead letter. Chuck Schumer would sooner French kiss Nancy Pelosi than allow the bill to reach the Senate floor for a vote (assuming it wasn’t filibustered by Democrats) and it wouldn’t even get a sniff in the House.
So the real action in terms of addressing the problem of anti-gun financial discrimination has moved to the states. A number of bills have been introduced in states like Arizona, Kentucky and others to outlaw financial discrimination against firearm-related businesses. And yesterday, Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon signed just such a bill into law.
From wyomingnews.com . . .
The bill prohibits financial institutions and payment processors in Wyoming from discriminating against firearms businesses that support or are “engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition products.”
The Governor signed this bill to reinforce his overarching belief in protecting Second Amendment rights in the face of recent Executive Actions by President Biden, according to a press release.
From the bill’s language . . .
A financial institution shall not discriminate against a firearm entity because the firearm entity supports or is engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition products.
And the bill provides remedies for anyone harmed by such discrimination.
A person who is injured by a violation of this article may bring a civil action against the financial institution. A court of competent jurisdiction shall award the successful party reasonable attorney fees and costs. The court may award the successful party any of the following:
(i) Actual and compensatory damages;
(ii) Treble damages;
(iii) Punitive or exemplary damages;
(iv) Injunctive relief;
(v) Any other appropriate civil relief.
The attorney general can also propose that the governor ban any financial institution found guilty of discrimination from doing business with the state.
More of these bills should be signed into law as they progress through the various state legislatures. Since the feds now have zero interest in preventing this kind of discrimination, it’s the only way to apply any pressure at all on anti-gun banks and other service providers.