March 04, 2021
By National Shooting Sports Foundation
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF®), the firearm industry's trade association, applauded U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer's (R-N.D.) introduction of the Fair Access to Banking Act. The much-needed legislation will pick up where the Fair Access to Financial Services Banking Rule left off, which was proposed by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency until the Biden administration "paused" publication of the finalized rule.
The bill was introduced with 26 cosponsors and expands upon the work begun in the last Congress by Sen. Cramer's introduction of S. 821, Freedom Financing Act. The Fair Access to Banking Act would require banks to provide access to services, capital, and credit based on the objective risk assessment of individual customers, rather than subjective broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers.
The Fair Access to Banking Act would stop corporate banks from picking winners and losers based on executives' personal politics. It also protects banks from outside pressure by special interest groups seeking to use the banks as a political weapon to advance their agenda.
"Senator Cramer's 'Fair Access to Banking' bill is a crucial, timely piece of legislation that will ensure financial institutions, when deciding whether or not to offer services to fully legal and lawful businesses, make such decisions based upon verifiable financial data and not on the political or social views of a few bank executives," said Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation. "It is unacceptable that banking institutions increasingly think they can arbitrarily deny services to legal, constitutionally protected businesses such as those in the firearm industry, which gainfully employs hundreds of thousands of Americans and helps guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. The firearm industry thanks Senator Cramer for his work to guarantee all legal and regulated American companies have fair and uniform access to financial services as required by Federal law."
Corporate banks have privatized "Operation Choke Point," the illegal discrimination scheme that began under the Obama-Biden administration. The Department of Justice and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-led (FDIC) effort, directed financial institutions to deny entire industries access to services, including the firearm industry. Despite being a constitutionally-protected industry, the Obama-Biden administration illegally coerced banks to end existing business relationships and denying new ones.
After the illegal practice was ended under the Trump administration, banks and special interest advocates simply privatized this scheme by adopting policies that specifically denied firearm businesses financial services for being in the business of selling certain types of lawful firearms. They forced these discriminatory practices while exploiting taxpayer-funded resources like FDIC insurance protections.
For more information about how the Fair Access for Banking Act would protect the firearm industry and other industries targeted by illegal discriminatory practices, click here.