Crapo, Risch and colleagues slam merged bank for weaponizing financial system to infringe on Americans’ Second Amendment rights

Washington DC–U.S. Senators Mike Crapo and Jim Risch (both R-Idaho) joined 24 Senate colleagues in sending a letter to Amalgamated Bank President and CEO Priscilla Sims Brown criticizing the manipulation by the bank of an international standards organization to force American financial services companies to categorize gun purchases – an indefensible attempt to target law-abiding Americans exercising their right to buy guns and enact far-left political goals.

“Your bank is trying to restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights by circumventing the democratic process. You should expect congressional oversight of your actions,” wrote the senators.

Senators pointed finger at merged bank websitewhere its anti-gun agenda is alarmingly presented.

“It is clear from the Amalgamated Bank website that it has fully embraced an anti-gun program. Whether it’s debanking gun manufacturers, forcing all commercial customers to adopt anti-gun control codes, or divesting customers’ assets from legitimate businesses, these decisions demonstrate your attempt to impose your political views on law-abiding Americans. If you want to change gun policy, you have to run for office and hold yourself accountable to voters. Worse still, these actions were not enough for you, so you decided to impose these radical and discriminatory policies on the entire financial system”, the Senators continued.

Ahead of the recent creation by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) of a Trader Category Code (MCC) that will target, monitor and deter sellers of firearms and ammunition earlier this month, Amalgamated Bank submitted three applications for its anti-gun policies – each of which were denied.

“Let’s be clear: militarizing the financial system to enact far-left political goals is inexcusable. . . . You should consider this notice to retain all communications involving your role in the ISO categorization system, and you should anticipate testifying before Congress in the near future,” concluded the senators.

Crapo and Risch recently join a call condemning the credit card companies’ decision to classify gun sales in a separate and unique category. Similarly, as former chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Crapo has frequently savvy banks and financial services institutions against severing ties with politically disadvantaged industries, call such restrictions, “a worrying trend”. Crapo is co-sponsor of Financial Institutions Customer Protection Actthat would prohibit federal regulators from arbitrarily forcing banking institutions to terminate relationships with legal firms solely because the firms’ operations do not conform to the views of contemporary administration.

A copy of the letter can be found here and lower.

Dear Mrs. Brown,

We are writing about your bank’s manipulation of an international rules organization to force US financial services firms to categorize firearms purchases. Your bank is trying to restrict Americans’ Second Amendment rights by circumventing the democratic process. You should expect congressional oversight of your actions.

As you are no doubt aware, earlier this month the Switzerland-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) created a Trader Category Code (MCC) specifically to target, monitor and deter arms dealers and of ammunition. Your actions were a major step toward targeting law-abiding Americans exercising their constitutionally protected right to purchase firearms.

It is clear from the website of Amalgamated Bank that he has fully embraced an anti-gun agenda. Whether it’s debanking gun manufacturers, forcing all commercial customers to adopt anti-gun control codes, or divesting customers’ assets from legitimate businesses, these decisions demonstrate your attempt to impose your political views on law-abiding Americans. If you want to change gun policy, you have to run for office and hold yourself accountable to voters. Worse still, these actions were not enough for you, so you decided to impose these radical and discriminatory policies on the entire financial system.

There were good reasons that ISO rejected your three previous requests for this policy, as such a decision is purely political, not to mention the immense regulatory and compliance burden it will ultimately place on retailers.

Let’s be clear: militarizing the financial system to enact far-left political goals is inexcusable. Basic American rights should be legislated and debated by elected officials who are sent to Washington, DC on behalf of their constituents, not by activist progressive CEOs or unelected bureaucrats in Geneva.

You should consider this notice to safeguard all communications involving your role in the ISO categorization system, and you should anticipate testifying before Congress in the near future.

Sincerely,

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