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NAT’L – INDUSTRY INSIDER – Financial Discrimination Continues Against the Gun Industry

A recent proposal by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), an independent bureau within the U.S. Department of the Treasury, would work to ensure fair treatment in lending and access to other financial services for American businesses. This is of particular importance to the Second Amendment, as manufacturers, companies and retailers in the shooting sports industries have and still are experiencing discrimination in getting these services from financial institutions. Apparently, some of these financial institutions don’t like the work these businesses are engaged in, even though the work is legitimate and legal. The OCC rule would “ensure fair access to banking services provided by national banks, federal savings associations and federal branches and agencies of foreign bank organizations. The proposal would codify more than a decade of OCC guidance stating that banks should provide access to services, capital, and credit based on the risk assessment of individual customers, rather than broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers.” Those “broad-based decisions” target companies in the shooting sports industries, including mom-and-pop gun shops that have seen loans and lines of credit denied despite their sterling financial histories. At a November 2020 hearing of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Sen. Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Chairman of the Committee, said, “It is vitally important that our country’s financial institutions, especially the largest, not deny credit financing based on political preferences related to firearms, oil and gas or others. Lending decisions should be based on creditworthiness, and should not target specific industries, especially as we work to restore our economy to pre-pandemic strength.” He also said, “This will remain an incredibly important issue for me, and I will continue to fight for access to credit and financial services for all of our legal industries.” Several years ago, it first became apparent that shooting sports-based companies were being denied credit, and access to services like the ability to accept credit card payments, even though these businesses were granted such services previously and were rated as very credit-worthy.  [full article]

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