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Corporate America takes new steps to restrict the sale of firearms



When Gary Ramey started making weapons in his shop, he decided to put one of his handguns up for sale on his website

That did not go well with the company with which he handled payments that informed him that he had his account dropped. Another credit card company told him the same thing: they would not do business with him.

The reason? His firearms business is against her policy.

In the course of mass shootings, the corporate USA has taken a stand against the firearms industry, as legislators have not taken any arms control measures. Payment processing companies limit transactions, Bank of America ceased funding AR companies and retailers like Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods imposed age restrictions on arms purchases.

However, the steps are praised by gun security advocates criticized by the arms industry, which they consider a devious way to undermine the Second Amendment. The arms industry leaders see the backlash as a real threat to their industry and conclude that they need additional protection in Congress to prevent financial retaliation by banks.

"If a few banks say" No, we're not going to lend to arms dealers or arms manufacturers, the industry is suddenly threatened and the second change does not mean much if there are no weapons, "said Michael Hammond, legal counsel for Gun Owners of America "If you can not make weapons, if you can not sell weapons, the second change does not mean much."

The topic has already caught the attention of the Sen. Mike Crapo of Idaho sent letters to Bank of America and Citigroup, which decided to stop selling firearms by corporate customers because of the new firearms rules in the wake of the shooting of Florida High School in February

"We should all be worried if banks like yours are trying to legislate and poli Replacing policy makers and social policies by restricting access to credit, "Crapo wrote to the Chief Executive of Citigroup.

Honor Defense is a small operation with a handful of employees, which also includes Ramey's son's wife, who made up a nondescript building in a G eorgia office park north of Atlanta. In 2016, it sold 7,500 firearms in the first year. Its products – handcrafted 9mm handguns in various colors – can now be found in more than 1,000 stores.

When Ramey discovered that neither Stripe nor Intuit was completing payments through his website, he filed a complaint with Georgia 's Attorney General Englisch: www.germnews.de/archive/dn/1998/02/12.html Help of a state law that prohibits the discrimination of arms companies against the arms industry. But the state refused, saying that credit card processing is not considered a financial service under state law.

He sees the credit card problem as a company that "infuses politics into the economy".

"We are just a small business trying to survive here," said Ramey. "It's hard enough to compete with Smith & Wesson, Ruger and Sig Sauer."

The financial industry actions came amid a major setback by US companies after the Florida shoot. Delta and United Airlines have no longer offered NRA members reduced rates, as did the rental companies Hertz, Alamo and National. The first National Bank of Omaha, one of the largest private banks in the country, decided not to renew a co-branded Visa credit card with the NRA.

Walmart and Dick's sporting goods both decided not to sell any "offensive weapons" firearms for people under the age of 21. REI, an outdoor shop selling no firearms, joined the roster and ruled that there are no ski goggles, water bottles and bicycle helmets from companies whose parent company Vista Outdoor manufactures AR-style ammunition and rifles.

Some legislators responded to the election year, especially in Georgia, where Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, who runs for the governor, led a legislative move to kill a tax allowance on jet fuel to punish Atlanta-based Delta over its NRA measures. The move cost the airline an estimated $ 40 million.

Gun control lawyers have welcomed the efforts and said that they show responsible leadership during a period of paralysis in the government. Experts say it's a sign that the business worldviews that are growing into the firearms debate are not risky at all – and indeed potentially beneficial to their brand.

"By and large, companies avoid these problems like the plague and are only involved – whether they are credit card companies or airlines – when they feel like they're doing nothing, it's as bad as doing something and they feel completely stuck "said Timothy D. Lytton, a professor at the College of Law of Georgia State University and author of" Suing the Weapon Industry: A Battle at the Crossroads of Weapons Control and Massentort. "

The arms industry admits that businesses know nothing of doing business with arms manufacturers or ask traders. Monthly reports from the Federal Government show that the background checks on the purchase of a firearm have progressed so far in comparison to last year that the first actions did not seem to have caused a drop in sales.

Nevertheless, the industry considers stricter laws against financial retaliation necessary for the future

"We may need to seek laws to ensure that it can not be done and that you can not discriminate against persons from lawfully exercising a constitutional right." said Larry Keane, senior vice president and legal advisor to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gunsmiths. "Imagine banks say they can not buy books, or that certain books are unacceptable, that would be problematic and I do not think anyone would stand for this type of activity by the banking industry."


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