Time Running Out for Gun Owner Comments to Stop Financial ‘Deplatforming’

banks and guns

“Right now, the single most existential threat to free speech in America is the rise of financial deplatforming,” Revolver News observes. “If conservatives want to preserve the ability to think and speak freely in the decades to come, they must act to prevent the country’s most powerful financial institutions from imposing a brutal censorship regime on the entire country.”

To demonstrate how that is done, several examples are cited, from New York State pressuring “banks and insurance companies to deny services to the NRA” to conservative candidates being “banned from PayPal, GoFundMe, and Venmo in an effort to keep others from donating,” to  “Visa and MasterCard [not] processing donations” to conservative groups and more.

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has proposed a rule to prevent banks from discriminating against legal businesses and individuals.  Note it does not require banks to forego due diligence in approving services to individual accounts, but essentially says regulated banks may not wholesale exclude entire legal industries.

“Woke” bankers discriminating against the firearms industry is hardly new – I wrote about it two years ago  in “Banking on Disarmament,” when Citibank instituted a policy to “ prohibit… the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21 [and to] bar… the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines.”

That they’re doing it on their own shows how far we’ve devolved since the Obama administration’s Operation Chokepoint put lawful gun dealers into a higher risk/fraud category with Ponzi schemes and pornography. But we saw that developing when mobile credit card reader Square (co-founded by billionaire leftist/Twitter honcho Jack Dorsey) joined Paypal and other payment processors in prohibiting the use of their services for retail gun transactions.

Unsurprisingly, banks are also beneficiaries of collectivism.

Citigroup and B of A both got “government bailouts” courtesy of the taxpayers. Gun owners had no say in prohibiting money taken from them being used to guarantee assets of corporate ingrates. Banks have the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation acting as backup and providing a perceived guarantee of soundness and they take full advantage of the shielded-from-transparency Federal Reserve System.

There are other relationships tangential to guns and special connections. JP Morgan Chase, ATF’s credit card provider, offered a position to get a double-dipping Fast and Furious manager out of the country, was a top Obama and Hillary campaign contributor, and the bank that terminated the account of “3D printed gun” pioneer Defense Distributed.

Bottom line: We’re not talking about interfering with straight capitalism – the relationship more closely approximates economic fascism, with the banks quick to take advantage of the “benefits” of regulation. It’s not like the industry doesn’t lobby the hell out of the government to get it to craft laws in its favor. It’s not like they don’t “reward” politicians to carry out their will. It’s not like their political positions aren’t influenced by globalist and foreign government interests and investors from the Middle East and China.

What rationale is there again, to give them a pass on their obligations to ensure fair access to financial services under the Dodd-Frank Act?

Not that “progressives” opposed to the rule let any of that stop them from ginning up hysteria among their fellow prohibitionists:

“Days before getting kicked out of the White House, the Trump Administration is making a desperate ploy to force major banks to finance industries like private prisons, gun manufacturers, and fossil fuel companies,” Presente.org, “the largest national Latinx online organization advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture” hyperventilates in its intro for a petition telling the OCC to withdraw its proposal.

“OCC Plan Would Force Banks to Lend to Oil and Gun Companies,” Bloomberg News (no agenda there!) asserts.

“The OCC Stands Up for Fossil Fuels, Gun Makers, Opioid Manufacturers, and Payday Lenders,” Credit Slips ridicules, falling back on the old Alinsky Rule 5 tactic to paint those against discrimination as the ones in the wrong.

You see where this is going and you see why it’s not in the DSM’s (Duranty/Streicher Media’s) interests to give the rule proposal fair treatment. What’s perplexing is why the national gun groups don’t appear to be prioritizing organizing members to weigh in on rule proposal comments, especially with the comment period’s January 4 deadline fast approaching.  I found a Dec. 7 article from NRA “encourag[ing] all firearm-related businesses that have been harmed by political discrimination in the provision of financial services to provide their respectful and constructive feedback on the proposal.” If there has been a concerted push from them, a GOA alert, or direction from SAF, they sure have made them hard to find – assuming one even knows to look.

I realize my reach is a lot shorter than that of our “gun rights leaders,” but I think it’s in the interests of all gun owners to care about this, and not just those businesses that have been denied financial services. The problem is, the comment period ends in days, so there’s not much time to react. That’s why I’m asking every gun owner reading this to take five minutes, right now, to go to the rule proposal and let the OCC know that protected industries should not be free to discriminate. I mean it — right now– if you don’t, chances are you’ll forget. And please don’t forget to recruit and enlist your friends.

I’d go a step further if I thought it would go anywhere, and urge my congressman to introduce a bill denying any and all federal benefits and contracts to any bank that does discriminate. And it’s not like the minds demanding a monopoly of violence don’t have plans of their own for useful idiot bankers once they no longer need them.

About David Codrea:

David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating/defending the RKBA and a long-time gun owner rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” is a regularly featured contributor to Firearms News, and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.