In the wake of recent mass shootings, the push for stricter gun reform has reached new heights. One of the most shocking recent developments in the ongoing battle over gun control is the unexpected shut down of firearm merchant accounts and gun shop credit card processing services.
Gun Merchant Accounts Shut Down
Gun merchants from coast to coast have had their merchant accounts closed suddenly and without notice. Practically every gun retail or parts seller working with Intuit Merchant Services was forced to shut down shop as Intuit closed virtually all of their gun-related, firearm merchant accounts in the U.S. Intuit is a credit processing service and the provider of Quickbooks, a popular business accounting software suite. This shutdown has been yet another major blow to the firearms industry.
|Starting in February of this year, practically every FFL dealer and gun parts and accessories merchant began experiencing spotty credit processing service. This appears to be the result of banking institutions experimenting with distancing themselves from gun-related businesses (presumably in response to political fallout of the most recent string of school shooting). The gaps in service have escalated to the point of complete shutdowns.|
Now, many gun merchants of all kinds and sizes are reduced to taking cash and check only payments. One of the most prominent firearm dealer to be hit in the latest purge was Flint River Armory. Others include Gunsite Academy and Lone Wolf Distributors.
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The Battle for the 2nd Amendment
While, it would only be fair to say that those who advocate for gun control have good intentions, their methods are questionable at best. Certainly, triggering a nationwide merchant services shut down, without any warnings, for law-abiding firearms retailers across the country is taking things too far.
Public opinion pressures like these are exceedingly effective when it comes to altering the way corporations operate. This is because large corporations that conduct business across state lines are bound to laws held at the federal level and individual state levels. They also depend on the patronage of the public, placing good public relations at a premium value. Since federal and the hundreds of differing state laws vary, banks have been leaning towards avoiding the industry as a whole. And when it comes to being convicted in the court of public opinion for working with gun merchants, they will simply cut their losses and throw reputable gun dealers under the bus.
Of course, anyone who has gone through the process of legally and properly purchasing a gun knows gun control measures are quite robust already. Anyone who has ever been to a gun range understands, you can’t be much safer than you are in the company of armed law-abiding citizens.
What these latest developments prove, is that laws don’t even need to change to hurt gun sales, bad PR and working with generic banking solutions can be just as devastating. Often, these financial solutions only need to be convinced that working with gun sellers is bad for their public image, and they fold like a house of cards. Unfortunately, this is not the first time gun retailers have been discriminated against. In 2015, merchants using big box, processing organizations like Square Stripe, and Spark Pay, and PayPal withdrew from their partnerships with hundreds of gun retailers for overtly political reasons.
At that time, Trevor Blandford of Terminal Performance Associates had this to say to reporters at The Daily Signal,
“Being shut out from mainstream payment processors makes us feel like we are part of some type of shady business when, in fact, there is more regulation and documentation required for federally licensed firearms dealers than most businesses.”
Gun-Friendly Merchant Services Provide a Solution
The good news is, gun retailers have been through this kind of attack, affecting their ability to do business, before. The shock is only somewhat mitigated by experience, unfortunately. While many merchant service companies will partner with one or two banks, which have most likely already jumped onto the anti-gun bandwagon, others have fought to protect gun merchants. Several select companies are actually official, NRA approved providers. That’s why firearm merchants who have been through having their businesses targeted by banks and credit processing companies in the past have turned to specialized, firearm merchant accounts like those offered by Leap Payments.
Leap Payments is a leading provider with years of experience working with volatile and high-risk industries. Over the years, the gun industry has encountered legal and public relations problems. Organizations like Leap Payments make it easier for gun dealer merchants to acquire quality merchant services by only working with banks strongly backing the gun industry. By partnering with a plethora of different banks, all specialized in high risk merchant accounts, they have remained faithful to the many law-abiding and responsible gun merchants they work with.
As the debate over 2nd Amendment rights heats up, merchant service providers like Leap Payments help defend legitimate and law-abiding firearms retailers to stay in business.
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