In April 2012, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing accused Bank of America (BOA) of severing its 12-year relationship because McMillan manufactures and sells firearms. Seven months later, Joe Sirochman, owner of American Spirit Arms claimed the Bank of America froze his funds for the same reason.
Due to the overwhelming demand for firearms at the time, American Spirit Arms was depositing more money into the bank than ever before. Sirochman stated Internet sales increased 500 percent. Held by Bank of America, those large deposits were not immediately available to the company. Needing the money to continue processing orders, Sirochman got on the phone. He reported that once he reached a manager of BOA, the manager told him, “We believe you should not be selling guns and parts on the Internet.” Bank of America claims it chose to hold those deposits for review customary to the bank’s policy. I can relate. In the late 90s, Bank of American withheld a large personal deposit of mine for over a week.
The stories of the two companies spread like wildfire over the Internet, enraging many in the firearms community. Bank of America responded on its Facebook page, claiming, “Any spike in transaction volumes is routinely reviewed by the Bank in order to protect our customers. This process is initiated regardless of the industry in which they do business.” Bank of America continued to stand by its corporate policy that it did not discriminate against firearm companies.
However, there are plenty of unforgiving people in the firearms community and many stopped doing business with BOA—never to return.
Even though Bank of America has said repeatedly it was not the nature of Sirochman’s business, one credit card processing company publicly says it is.
VISA subsidiary Authorize.net recently found that Charlotte North Carolina store, Hyatt Gun Shop violates Authorize.net’s corporate policy against the selling of firearms. Authorize.net ended the four-year relationship with Hyatt Gun Shop abruptly. Authorize.net wrote an e-mail message to Hyatt Gun Shop owner, Larry Hyatt, reading:
Dear Hyatt Gun Shop Inc,
Authorize.Net LLC (“Authorize.Net”) has determined that the nature of your business constitutes a violation of Section 2.xiv of the Authorize.Net Acceptable Use Guidelines and Sections 3.3 and 11.3 of the Authorize.Net Service Agreement (the “Agreement”). These sections include, but are not limited to, the sale of firearms or any similar product. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4 of the Acceptable Use Guidelines, your ability to access and use the Authorize.Net Services will be terminated on September 30, 2013.
To many of us, this news is of no surprise. PayPal and Square will not accept firearm, firearm parts and ammunition sales transactions. For decades, many large financial institutions refused to offer lending to firearms businesses. After Sandy Hook, GE Capital, who issues cards for Chevron, Lowe’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Sam’s Club, Amazon.com, and Wal-Mart, among many others have stopped lending to businesses that sell firearms.
It appears the McMillan group may have foreseen the future. Not even a month before Authorize.net cut ties with Hyatt Gun Store, McMillan announced its new venture—taking matters into its own hands—McMillan Merchant Solutions, offering a credit card processing service for the firearms industry. Kelly McMillan, director of operations for McMillan International Group says it donates one percent of every penny made by McMillan Merchant Services to gun rights and conservation organizations.
To show support for Hyatt Gun Shop, gun rights organization Grass Roots North Carolina has called for a boycott of Authorize.net and its parent company CyberSource. Unfortunately, boycotts are not as easy as they sound. If you are in a situation where you must shop from a store or website that uses Authorize.net, encourage them to explore other options.
A new assault weapons ban and universal background check couldn’t pass Congress, but nothing is stopping privately owned, gun-control advocate-funded companies from hitting us where it hurts—our pocket books.
To read a list of more anti-gun companies, read Are Your Hard-Earned Dollars Helping Support Gun Control?