March 11, 2021
NSSF Hails Rep. Barr’s ‘Fair Access to Banking Act’
NEWTOWN, Conn. — The NSSF®, the firearm industry’s trade association, applauded U.S. Rep. Andy Barr’s (R-Ky.) 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 is companion legislation to U.S. Sen. Kevin Cramer’s S. 563, of the same title, that was introduced last week. 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.
“Congressman Barr’s ‘Fair Access to Banking’ bill is vital to ensure financial services aren’t discriminating against lawful industries like the firearm industry to score points with the ‘woke’ cancel culture. This legislation 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. “The banking industry has benefited from taxpayer bailouts and taxpayer-funded insurances, and it is unacceptable that these same banking institutions believe they can arbitrarily deny services to legal, constitutional businesses such as our industry, which gainfully employs millions of Americans and helps guarantee the right to keep and bear arms. The firearm industry thanks Representative Barr for his leadership to guarantee all legal and regulated American companies have fair and uniform access to financial services.”
Corporate banks have privatized “Operation Choke Point,” the illegal discrimination scheme that was begun under the Obama-Biden administration. The Department of Justice and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-led 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 deny 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.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.
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