[by Dave Workman; Seattle Gun Rights Examiner] – (04/23/2012) The bank that absorbed Seattle-based SeaFirst Bank back in 1983 has allegedly taken an action that might resonate in downtown Seattle, but to the American firearms community it’s a declaration of war, and gun owners are evidently poised to strike back.
Bank of America is alleged to have advised McMillan Fiberglass Stocks that, because it now manufactures firearms, its business is no longer welcome. The bank has denied the allegation. It’s quickly becoming a case of “he said/he said,” with some gun owners expressing skepticism, others accepting the report as true.
The report sizzled across cyberspace over the weekend has spread Mondays morning to Jim Shepherd’s The Outdoor Wire, and HotAir.com. It has ignited a discussion on GunRightsMedia.com, Northwest Firearms and other forums. A story under my byline also appears in TheGunMag.com.
Many in the Pacific Northwest who have or had personal and business accounts with SeaFirst (a.k.a. Seattle First National Bank among old-timers) are gun owners.
According to a message posted on Facebook by Kelly D. McMillan, director of operations at the Phoenix-based McMillan Fiberglass Stocks and McMillan Firearms Manufacturing company, a meeting with a Bank of America senior vice president occurred the other day that went like this:
McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing, McMillan Group International have been collectively banking with Bank of America for 12 years. Today Mr. Ray Fox, Senior Vice President, Market Manager, Business Banking, Global Commercial Banking came to my office. He scheduled the meeting as an “account analysis” meeting in order to evaluate the two lines of credit we have with them. He spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.
At this point I interrupted him and asked “Can I possible save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer what my business.”
“That is correct” he says.
I replied “That is okay, we will move our accounts as soon as possible. We can find a 2nd Amendment friendly bank that will be glad to have our business. You won’t mind if I tell the NRA, SCI and everyone one I know that BofA is not firearms industry friendly?”
“You have to do what you must” he said.
“So you are telling me this is a politically motivated decision, is that right?” Mr Fox confirmed that it was. At which point I told him that the meeting was over and there was nothing left for him to say.
UPDATE: This column reached McMillan Monday morning and he stands by his story. Bank of America has posted this message on its Facebook page:
“We want to let you know that we hear your comments and questions regarding one of our customers. While we cannot discuss the details of any individual client we work with, we can assure you the allegations being made here are completely false. Bank of America does not have a policy that prohibits us from banking clients in this industry. In fact, we have numerous, longstanding customers in the industry.
“We are also extremely proud of our support of the US military and reject any assertion to the contrary. We count as clients many companies that provide for our nation’s defense. We employ thousands of veterans, Guardsmen, and Reservists, and plan to increase our hiring this year.”
—Bank of America
The Snopes website is also discussing the controversy here. This column’s call to Bank of America has not been returned.
Shepherd, in Monday morning’s Outdoor Wire, noted that the story has gained plenty of traction. McMillan concluded with this observation, and a warning to customers:
“I think it is import for all Americans who believe in and support our 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms should know when a business does not support these rights. What you do with that knowledge is up to you. When I don’t agree with a business’ political position I can not in good conscience support them. We will soon no longer be accepting Bank of America credit cards as payment for our products.” —Kelly D. McMillan
Over at HotAir.com, there is already a rumbling of boycott. And at PJMedia, columnist Bob Owens has literally taken off the gloves, reminding readers that McMillan is “heavily involved” with the U.S. military, producing stocks for the Marine Corps’ designated sniper rifle, and producing equipment for other branches. He also had this assertion:
“Bank of America was the recipient of well over 100 billion dollars in federal money. They are also one of just two vendors processing payments for Barack Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign, employing a system that disables safeguards against illegal foreign donations. Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, is the site of the Democratic Nation Convention in September. —Bob Owens, PJ Media
This story may, or may not, cause a ripple in high finance circles, but it is certainly causing a ripple effect in the firearms community as more gun owners – and especially the gun rights activists – are learning about this.
by Dave Workman
online ref. ; BofA.. 2nd Ammendment