Lucas Joins Financial Services Committee Republicans Condemning Bank Efforts Forcing Companies to Track U.S. Gun Sales

Sep 22, 2022
Press

Washington, DC – Yesterday, Congressman Frank Lucas (OK-03) joined House Committee on Financial Services Republicans sending a letter to Amalgamated Bank, objecting to the bank’s efforts to force companies to track law-abiding American citizens who are exercising their constitutionally protected right to purchase firearms. 

“We write to you concerning Amalgamated Bank’s recent efforts to force U.S. companies to track those law-abiding Americans who are exercising their constitutionally protected right to purchase firearms. Amalgamated Bank has made clear that it does not lend to firearms manufacturers or sellers, nor maintain banking relationships with businesses involved in firearms sales. While it is a bank’s choice with whom to do business, those choices should be determined by objective, risk-based metrics, not an adherence to advancing a social agenda,” wrote the lawmakers.

“Your efforts to force a divisive, progressive policy onto the entire American financial system is disconcerting. For more than a year, you have pressured the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create a new, firearm retailers specific Merchant Category Code (MCC). Historically, these businesses have been accurately categorized under Miscellaneous Retail Stores or Sporting Goods Stores. 

….

“As you know, there is no fair or impartial way to determine from a transaction’s MCC whether a transaction is suspicious.’ The MCC indicates only that a purchase was made at a certain retailer; it does not provide data regarding what was purchased. There is a serious risk that this new MCC will be abused with every transaction flagged as suspicious. At a minimum, monitoring the firearms seller MCC is an overt attempt to chill the exercise of constitutionally protected rights, and poses a serious risk of circumventing important existing legal restrictions on the creation of a firearm registry.”

Merchant category codes (MCC) are hundreds of four-digit codes used to classify merchants by the types of services or good provided. Since July 2021, Amalgamated Bank has repeatedly requested that the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) create a new MCC for firearms retailers. Following coordinated efforts by multiple Democrats, the ISO created a new MCC for firearms retailers. 

Read the full letter here.

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