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Assembly Resolution Against Firearms Industry a Dangerous Precedent

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AP Photo/ Rick Bowmer

California’s got the most gun control laws in the country. It’s also trying to win the race on bad legislative ideas, too.

California’s Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) is pushing a resolution that California would use its economic might to nudge banks and lending institutions away from doing business with federally licensed law abiding firearms manufacturers and retailers if they have open accounts with the Golden State. Assembly Concurrent Resolution 115 would “encourage” six lending institutions to cut all business ties with America’s firearms manufacturers. The goal, according to Kamlager-Dove, is eliminate the production of firearms and the means to exercise Second Amendment rights.

Kamlager-Dove explained, “You cannot have a gun if the gun has not been made. You cannot sell a gun that has not been made.”

Then, Kamlager-Dove does economic policy backflips when she attempts to say it is actually a free-market incentive, because it would allow firearms manufactures to use alternative options when it comes to banking services and loans.

Kamlager-Dove couldn’t explain where California state and local law enforcement would buy their firearms if gun production were to be eliminated. She was challenged on her thought process by Republican Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez that inserting personal and political ideology was a dangerous precedent. While Kamlager-Dove was using the resolution as a bludgeon against the firearms industry today to drive a political agenda, a similar authority could be used to deny financial services to what others consider disfavored industries.

It’s a reminder of the importance of rejecting this type of activism being embraced by politicians to distort and misuse the levers of free-market capitalism to attempt to achieve political agendas through corporate boardrooms that they can’t do through legislative and court processes. That’s why the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, urges Congress to take up the Freedom Financing Act, introduced by U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) as S. 821. It was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives as H.R. 2079, by U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas).

The Freedom Financing Act would prevent financial institutions from accessing taxpayer-subsidized government programs when they are at the same time denying banking services to lawful and compliant industries. In other words, big banks wouldn’t be able to benefit from taxpayer-subsidized insurance programs while at the same time discriminating against lawful businesses. If the big banks choose to deny industries like firearms and ammunition manufactures services based on a bias against the products they make, they are free to do so. But, they shouldn’t be entitled to benefit from the money protections that are paid for by U.S. taxpayers, 100 million of whom are gun owners.

Californians deserve many more things from their assembly representatives. Bad ideas to limit free markets and eliminate rights isn’t one of them.

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