Amid Chicago Mayor Emanuel’s recent push to get Bank of America, other banks, and various mutual funds to divest from gun companies, Breitbart News thought the timing was right to sit down with Joe Sirochman of American Spirit Arms (ASA). We talked to him about the way Bank of America treated his company shortly after the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary took place.
ASA is a Scottsdale AZ-based manufacturer of custom AR-15 rifles and pistols. And as Sirochman will tell you the first time you meet him, “ASA is an American company making guns for Americans.”
Sirochman says his company is set up so that customers can come into the showroom to buy a weapon or they can purchase it over the internet. (Guns go through an FFL either way and a NICS background check is involved either way).
He said that once Democrats began talking gun control in the days after the heinous crime at Sandy Hook Elementary–ASA’s online orders jumped exponentially. In one four day period ASA sold the same amount of guns they usually sell in four months.
Each online order requires a deposit. And normally, these deposits went through Bank of America and appeared in ASA’s account within 24 hours. But this time, Sirochman noticed no money was hitting his account. He waited 48 hours from the start of the sales boom and then called the bank. They told him it sometimes takes up 48 hours to get the money so he told them he had already waited longer than that.
They then told him they were reviewing the deposits, and it could be another 48 hours.
Sirochman waited but never got his money. Days passed when the first deposit should have hit his account, and sales were still screaming but no money was coming in. He finally had to turn off the website, just because he was shipping out orders for which he’d received no funds.
Here’s what Sirochman said happened next:
We’d just been talking to our local Bank of America branch up till this time. Now we had to call merchant services. This entailed spending hours on the phone just to get to a live person and get transferred to what they believed was the right department.
When we finally got to the right person in merchant services, we found out the ASA deposits were sitting on someone’s desk for review due to the fact that the amount was so much larger than normal.
Sirochman told the individual that withholding the funds was unacceptable and that “it was clear the larger deposits were due to a larger number of individuals ordering weapons.” He said he told the Bank of America rep, “You need to release these funds.”
The rep said the folder had been passed on to a supervisor, so Sirochman contacted that supervisor, who he says told him over the phone: “We believe that you shouldn’t be selling guns and parts on the internet.”
Sirochman said he reminded the supervisor that he’d been making and selling guns for 10 years. That he followed every law–both at the national and state level–and that he was regularly audited by the ATF.
He said the Bank of America supervisor responded by simply saying, “It’s in our policy that we can withhold the funds indefinitely for any reason that we want.”
Following this, Sirochman began publicizing the way Bank of America was treating him. And after three weeks of viral videos, news interviews, and Facebook shares, the public outcry caught up with Bank of America and they finally gave Sirochman his money.
But it took three weeks, rather than 48 hours.
Needless to say, ASA isn’t with Bank of America any longer–they took their business to a local bank that doesn’t have a problem with American owned businesses making products that Americans want and need.