Selwyn Duke
Bank of America freezing gun manufacturer's accounts
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By Selwyn Duke
January 10, 2013

You might think that a professional outfit such as Bank of America operated based on stated policy and not caprice. But not according to owner of American Spirit Arms Joe Sirochman.

On his Facebook page, Sirochman tells of his adventures with the banking giant. Like other gun dealers and manufacturers, his business is booming currently — Internet orders are up 500 percent. This caused there to be an unusual number of deposits made to his business' BoA account via his website's e-commerce system, triggering an account freeze. This may not seem strange, as banks have security systems that temporarily freeze accounts when detecting anomalous activity. This happened to me once after using my debit card to make an unusual series of purchases; the freeze was irritating, but nothing a few minutes on the phone didn't remedy. But this is where Sirochman's story takes a bizarre turn. He writes (edited for style):
    After countless hours on the phone with Bank of America, I finally got a manager in the right department who told me the reason that the deposits were on hold for further review. Her exact words were:

    "We believe you should not be selling guns and parts on the Internet."
Shocking.

Sirochman then told the manager that "they have no right to make up their own new rules and [regulations]" and that he is a licensed firearms manufacturer in conformity with all relevant laws. She said she understood and that the deposits would be released after they had a "[c]hance to review and clear them" (wink, nod?). Yet after two weeks of increased Internet business, reports Sirochman, only one third of the collected sales have been cleared. And this is a man who has been doing business with BoA for 10 years.

I support a company's right to refuse to do business with whomever it pleases (freedom of association); although rejecting firearms manufacturers would make a bank boycott-worthy. But to accept someone's business and then persecute him for political reasons — as appears the case here — is reprehensible. The funds will be released when the bank has a "chance to review and clear them"? As per my experience, your money is supposed to be cleared as soon as you inform the institution that anomalous charges aren't the result of criminal activity.

And this isn't the first time BoA has exhibited anti-Second Amendment tendencies. As CNSNews writes, "McMillan Group International was reportedly told that its business was no longer welcome after the company started manufacturing firearms — even after 12 years of doing business with the bank."

Never fear, though, other types of business are still welcome. As an example, BoA is to some degree Sharia compliant, according to Sharia Finance Watch.

So gun manufacturers and owners aren't BoA's kind of people, but we know who is. Well, BoA, you're not my kind of bank. I have gun and will travel with my funds to a different institution.

© Selwyn Duke

 

The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
(See RenewAmerica's publishing standards.)

 

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