Bailout recipient Bank of America has severed relations with an American company because of a reported bias against their industry. McMillan Group International released an extraordinary statement on Facebook regarding the incident:
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 five minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last five 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 Second 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 let for him to say.
McMillan is now refusing to accept Bank of America cards from customers for payment.
McMillan is heavily involved with U.S. national security. McMillan rifle stocks are the standard for the Marine Corps’ favored M40A3 sniper rifle. McMillan products, from stocks and other accessories to complete rifles, are used by U.S. regular and special forces and by American military allies around the globe.
McMillan products are of particular import in Afghanistan and in Iraq, where snipers and designated marksmen armed with long-range precision rifles performed (and still perform) vital scouting and overwatch functions protecting maneuver units. The extended range of these weapons allows forces to engage with and destroy enemy forces before they are in range to accurately fire against American soldiers and Marines.
Per McMillan’s statement, a politically partisan bank has severed the lines of credit to a company important to our national security. This act has likely added difficulty to the company’s ability to operate, to research product improvements, and to deliver products on time. Bank of America’s stance — especially if this signals a new policy regarding dealing with all arms manufacturers — could potentially effect the readiness of American soldiers in combat zones and the operational efficiency of some of America’s most highly trained and effective units.
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.
This is at least the third time Bank of America has implemented a discriminatory policy against gun manufacturers. In early 2001, a scandal erupted over the bank’s attempt to discriminate against another Arizona-based company. The resulting public outrage forced a reversal of the policy.
In 2010, Bank of America attempted a similar action, and was again forced to “clarify” their position:
Bank of America does not have a corporate-wide policy to deny banking services solely on the applicant’s involvement in the firearms industry.
No other gun manufacturer or gun rights group has reacted to the McMillan Facebook post at this time.