Twenty-eight Senate Republicans are zeroing in on Amalgamated Bank over credit card companies’ September 2022 decisions to recategorize gun sales in a way that allows them to be flagged.
On September 11, Breitbart News reported that Visa caved to Democrat pressure and agreed to give firearm sales a standalone merchant code. New York Democrats wanted the code for the purpose of flagging purchases they consider suspicious.
Mastercard and American Express gave in as well, with Mastercard going so far as to praise Congress for the midsummer passage of gun control.
Insider/Yahoo News pointed to a statement from Mastercard, which said, “We understand and appreciate the significant policy imperative in reducing gun violence and see the recent bipartisan action in Congress as a positive step. We believe it is that type of effort that will meaningfully address the tragic gun violence facing the country.”
When the Associated Press noted that Visa, Mastercard, and American Express would begin using a new merchant code for firearms, they stressed that the merchant code came from the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
But 28 Republican senators believe Amalgamated Bank is central to the adoption of the new merchant code. They sent a letter to Amalgamated Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Priscilla Sims Brown, putting Brown and her bank on notice.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), one of the letter’s signatories, posted portions of the letter, which said, “Your bank is attempting to restrict the Second Amendment rights of Americans by going around the democratic process. You should expect Congressional oversight of your actions.”
The letter continued:
It is clear from Amalgamated Bank’s website that it has fully embraced an anti-firearm agenda. Whether it is choosing to debank firearms manufacturers, forcing all commercial clients to adopt anti-gun control codes, or divesting customer assets from lawful businesses, these decisions demonstrate your attempt to force your political views on law-abiding Americans. If you want to change gun policy, you should run for office and make yourself accountable to voters. What’s worse, these actions weren’t enough for you, so you set your sights on forcing these radical and discriminatory policies on the entire financial system.
Let us be clear: weaponizing the financial system to enact far-left political goals is inexcusable… You should consider this notice to retain all communications involving your role in ISO’s categorization scheme, and you should anticipate testifying before Congress in the near future.
A Senate Judiciary Committee Aide spoke to Breitbart News about the senators’ letter and what it portends, saying, “The Republican Senators are aware of Amalgamated’s role in causing this and plan on holding them accountable.”
The aide added, “Should Republicans take back the Senate, both the Senate Banking Committee is going to look into whether Amalgamated has complied with all banking regulations while it’s pushing partisan-leftwing policies, and the Senate Judiciary Committee is going to investigate communications between Amalgamated Bank and ISO to restrict Second Amendment Rights. ”
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. AWR Hawkins holds a PhD in Military History with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at email@example.com.