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Old May 2, 2001, 01:21 PM   #1
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From an e-mail I recieved today:

From: [email protected] <[email protected]>
To: undisclosed-recipients:; <undisclosed-recipients:;>
Date: Wednesday, May 02, 2001 2:06 AM
Subject: Here We Go Again; Blast The Bastards Until They Squeal (Sam

May 2, 2001

Friends, if this connects to you in any way, please pass this message along, far and wide.

BANK OF AMERICA DISCRIMINATES AGAINST WOMEN, THE ELDERLY, THE HANDICAPPED, AND AMERICA ITSELF. How? Because it discriminates against gun owners, and would therefore make us all into a country of disarmed victims, harming the weakest the most.

Bank of America has refused credit-card processing to Arizona Response Systems, a gunsmithing business in Phoenix, because "Bank of America does not provide merchant services to the gun industry." This new policy was confirmed by a corporate spokesman, Daniel Schulman of their San Francisco headquarters office.

THIS IS AN EXACT REPLAY of last year, when Citibank refused merchant services to the Nevada Pistol Academy of Las Vegas. I was one of several people who independently called for a national boycott then, and I said we COULD make a difference. WE DID. The news of the Citibank boycott spread on the Internet, reached the newspapers, and even made it to network television. I was interviewed on a Fox Network News television segment, aired nationally on February 28, 2000. I said two things:

First : There are over eighty million lawful and responsible gun owners in this country, and we're SICK AND TIRED of being treated like criminals.

Second: "Tear up your credit cards; close your accounts!"

It took a few weeks, but Citibank changed its policy. WE WON.

NOW IT'S TIME TO DO IT AGAIN, BUT EVEN BETTER. Bank of America is now the largest bank in the country. Good! That means they're everywhere, and we can hit them everywhere.

Tear up your Bank of America credit cards! Close your Bank of America accounts! If you own B of A stock, sell it! Thinking of a mortgage or a car loan from Bank of America? Go elsewhere! Withdraw all business from Bank of America! And TELL THEM WHY.

Most importantly, PASS THE WORD. Tell everyone you know: BANK OF AMERICA DISCRIMINATES -- BOYCOTT THEM.

You can reach Ken Lewis, Chairman and CEO of Bank of America, at
100 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, North Carolina

I'm sure he'd like to hear from all of us. When you write, please add the "RKBA!" signature line (and don't forget the exclamation point). Shareholders may want to call their shareholder relations office, at 800/521-3984.

And, you can call Shirley Norton at their risk management public relations office in San Francisco, at 415/622-4041.

Ask B of A if their "gun industry" policy applies to serious weapons-makers -- the Raytheons and Lockheed-Martins and other defense contractors that all large banks do business with. Tell them that their policy discriminates against all the Americans who have chosen the only effective way to protect themselves, their families, and, ultimately, their country.

And there are a lot of us. When even the Los Angeles Times admits that one out of four households owns guns, they have to pay attention.

Ask them if they think no further than "guns kill, therefore guns are bad," or if they'd rather have their daughters and granddaughters say "stop or I'll call 911" instead of "stop or I'll shoot."

Ask them if they know that New York City and Washington, DC are the most dangerous places in the country because the rapists, muggers, and burglars know that their victims are unarmed, thanks to the city government.

Tell them that their contempt for the most fundamental of all human rights, that of self-defense, is nothing less than obscene.

Ask them if they want a society where only the government has guns, and to ask the Jews under Hitler, or the Soviets under Stalin, or the Cambodians under Pol Pot, how that works.

Ask them, If people surrender their ability to resist authority gone bad, can they predict what could happen, even in this country, in a few generations?

But remind them that there are still patriots in this country, and among them are eighty-three million gun owners. Maybe we can't dump tea into Boston harbor, but we can dump their bank.


Sam Cohen

**** RKBA! (...the exclamation point means "shall not be infringed!")


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Old May 2, 2001, 01:33 PM   #2
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Ha, what luck. They just got through trying to charge me interest on a credit card that I pay in full every month and after sitting on hold for 20 minutes and getting the "we don't care when it was mailed out, only when it went into the computer" line I promptly cussed them out and canceled the card, as soon as I get another account set up I intend to pull all of my money out of their bank. This will give me yet another reason to tell them why I did.
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Old May 2, 2001, 09:43 PM   #3
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Here is what I sent them:


It has come to my attention that Bank of America has a policy of “not providing merchant services to the gun industry.” This according to corporate spokesman Daniel Schulm of the San Francisco headquarters office. Apparently Bank of America has refused to provide credit card processing services to a gunsmithing company called Arizona Response Systems.

I have been a Bank of America customer for years. I used to work for Bank of America here in Washington State when it was Seafirst. I am a Bank of America stockowner. I want to confirm if this anti-gun policy is in fact true before I take steps to close all my Bank of America accounts and move all my financial business elsewhere.

I would like to bring to your attention something that happened to Citibank last year: Citibank announced a policy of refusing to do business with the gun industry. There was a national boycott, people closed their accounts, the story made the national news, and Citibank eventually reversed their anti-gun policy.

The Internet is a powerful thing. This story about Bank of America has already made the Internet. A national boycott of Bank of America has already been set in motion – not by any particular organization, but by the power of the Internet.

May I suggest that if the rumor of your anti-gun policy is true, that you reverse the policy posthaste in order to prevent further damage to the company?

If I find the rumor about this policy to be true, I will be taking all my banking business elsewhere, and selling my Bank of America stock.

I look forward to your reply.

-Dean Fuller
In cases like this, I don't think it's productive to cite all sorts of patriotic, god-given-rights, RKBA! stuff. I think it removes focus from the real issue. That's why I didn't use any of it in this letter.
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Old May 2, 2001, 10:00 PM   #4
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Dean, if you get a confirmation back on that from the bank, let us know. I bank with BOA, and will also close my account with them if they are pulling this nonsense. But I don't want to close the account unless the policy has been verified.

Great letter by the way!
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Old May 2, 2001, 10:00 PM   #5
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Here's a link with more info:

It gives a slightly more accurate account of the problem, including a transcript of a conversation with a BofA representative, but the basic facts are the same.

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Old May 2, 2001, 11:15 PM   #6
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What about using a BoA Card to PURCHASE a firearm or ammunition? Will they decline it? Like when they see that someone made a purchase at "Silver State Arms"? Can they set their system up to decline the purchase if it comes from specific merchants, even though the merchant is using a different service?
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Old May 2, 2001, 11:25 PM   #7
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In a way, I wish they would set up the electronic approval process to deny purchases from gun businesses. That would get a lot more people in on the boycott.
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Old May 2, 2001, 11:30 PM   #8
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DArn, just checked - no B of A account that I can call and cancel!!
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Old May 2, 2001, 11:46 PM   #9
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Here's an email I just got on the subject at [email protected]
(Thanks to Neil Brown for digging into this further)



M: Okay, it took me a while to track this down, but you are listed as the sales representative who declined my merchant account application, the reason given Bank of America does not provide merchant services to the gun industry. . . . So what I'm trying to determine is - the branch manager tells me that they said that we don't do this type of business and is unable to tell me who "they" is.

D: Well it's conceivable she could have spoken with me and I would have said that it's true, when we receive applications for these types of businesses we do not approve them. That's absolutely accurate.

M: Okay.

D: Now what I can say that I've received from Robin at your local branch is a referral [note: I had not revealed the name of my local branch manager, therefore, Daniel must have been intimately familiar with my case beforehand]. 8 x 11 completed referral, giving me basic information about your business.

M: Okay.

D: Upon receiving it, I informed her that we don't approve these types of businesses . . .

M: Okay. Are you aware of a document that Bank of America produces called Merchant Services Account Qualification?

D: Not this specific document or I may have seen it at one time or another --

M: Okay, it lists eligible merchants and ineligible merchants.

D: Mmm-hmmm.

M: And I was wondering if you could point out where on this list the gun industry comes, because -

D: The gun industry until the past probably month and a half, two months was never on our ineligible list actually and only recently has the new risk management that's moved into place disallowed guns and ammunition from the accounts that we approve[emphasis added]. So it wouldn't have even be three or four months ago believe it or not that it would have been something that we work with. So it probably has not been updated onto our collaterals that would be distributed.

M: Okay, can you send me something in writing stating that it is Bank of America's policy to not approve firearms-related industries?

D: I think I can probably come up with that.

M: Okay. Also what I'm wondering is are you going to be canceling the accounts that you already have?

D: What accounts do we have, Mark?

M: For gun businesses.

D: Hmmm. I don't know.

M: I have been in contact with - I got his name written down here somewhere who runs the eastside of Phoenix, but is running West side now while someone else is on vacation. And he's got several gun businesses.

D: Yeah we used to approve them, it's true. So do I. I have gun businesses on the books myself. Like I said, this is a recent policy that's been put into place.

M: Okay, because I'm trying to track where the policy is coming from and, you know, because I was invited on Sunday to participate in a national radio talk show in reference to this, but I thought it best that I give Bank of America opportunity to clarify before the substantial loss of business that this policy will create.

D: Right. Well I have no problem trying to produce that. To be honest, I'm not too concerned about the potential loss of business. You know, all that's been taken into account by the people that actually put together our new log, guidelines. [emphasis added]

M: Okay.

D: You know, I don't mind trying to dig this up for you as a favor to you.

M: Well what I'm trying to get is something in writing because I'm sure you know your job, but if you are perhaps misunderstanding a guidance from somewhere else then it would be unfair for me to start bashing Bank of America if in fact the facts aren't straight.

D: Yeah, I totally agree with you. I got no problem trying to pull something like that together.
I'd take that as confirmation, but I haven't seen anything from B of A about it.

Kathy Jackson
My personal website: Cornered Cat
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Old May 3, 2001, 12:53 AM   #10
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hrm . .bank of america holds my mortgage. Grr.
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Old May 3, 2001, 02:55 AM   #11
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Old May 3, 2001, 10:12 AM   #12
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I'm letting them know that ANY FURTHER CONTACT FROM THEM (solicitations for CCs, loans, ANYTHING) will result in my prosecuting them under SC state law for HARASSMENT. God, I love the laws in this state!!!!

I'm notifying by phone first (just for the pleasure of their response), and following up with a letter to their legal dept. OH YEAH!!!!!
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Old May 3, 2001, 02:36 PM   #13
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*First Post* Calls in to B of A

Greetings to Fellow Shooters and Friends of the 2nd Amendment!

I read about this issue on Free Republic and registered here today. This is my first post at the Firing Line.

I put in calls here in Charleston to get verification about this B of A policy.

Its not that I don't believe what has been said but as the B of A source was in the People's Republic of California, I wanted to see what the locals here had to say. (And rake them over the coals if the op presents itself)

I have been a customer of this bank in one incarnation or another since hurricane Hugo blew through in 89 and I will not hesitate to cancel my checking, savings and credit card if B of A participates in the de facto regulation of the gun industry.

And the piehole will be open about it to anyone who will listen here (in Chas).

Keepin the powder dry,

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Old May 3, 2001, 02:58 PM   #14
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Please let us know what you find out...
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Old May 3, 2001, 03:12 PM   #15
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Here are a bunch of telephone numbers!

I've already started my daily calls on this anti-american crap that BofA is pulling. Here are many numbers and they tout that you can talk to a real person.....Let the games begin!!!

When you need information, sometimes it's best to talk to a real person. Here's a list with the numbers you need. If you are speech or hearing impaired, you can use our TDD number at 800-551-4453.

To Talk to an Expert about: Call this Number:
Online Banking
Bank of America Credit
Card® (existing customers) 800-888-3812

Online Banking
(existing customers) 800-792-0808
(international collect 415-278-8078)
Military Online Banking 800-334-1920
ATM, Debit and Check Cards 800-622-8731
New Checking and Savings Accounts
Existing Checking and Savings Accounts
CA 800-622-8731
OR 800-843-2632
ID, WA 800-442-6680
Computer Checks
Credit Cards
Credit Card Applications
Credit Card General Inquiry
Credit Card
Report Lost & Stolen Cards
New Home Equity and
Consumer Loans
(except credit cards)
Existing Home Equity and Consumer Loans (except credit cards)
Home Loans
Investment & Brokerage Services
Personal Investment
Consulting Service
Discount Brokerage Services
Military Banking
Nations Funds
Premier Banking
Find the phone number of the office nearest you.
Student Banking
TrustAmerica Account

Small Business Customer Service
Business Center
Merchant Services
Card Solutions
Global Trade Services
Client Support
Correspondent Mortgage Lending
Wholesale Mortgage Lending
Government Card Services

General Information
Corporate Community Development
Investor Relations
Shareholder Services
Media Inquiries
415-622-3800 or media contacts
Visually Impaired Access
1-800-ENABLE-U (1-800-362-2538)

To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state.
Winchesters Forever (Levers and Pumps 73s, 90s, 92s, 06s, 61s and 63s)
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Old May 3, 2001, 03:29 PM   #16
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Hrm .. yeah. Make sure to post if it's echoed in Charleston.
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Old May 3, 2001, 03:57 PM   #17
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Is Bank of America the same as MBNA America?
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Old May 3, 2001, 04:03 PM   #18
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Bank of America holds my mortgage too. I'm trying to refinance right now and went first to them to find out what kind of deal they are offering for mortgages they are currently servicing. I called their 800 number, then the typical several minutes of hunting through their phone menu until I got to the recording saying something like "Push 3 for Mortgage Refinance questions". When I pushed the button, the voice said "Sorry, due to the high volume of calls we can not process your call at this time. Please call back later"! Ok, an hour later I try again. Same thing. The next day, the same thing. Never in my life have I dealt with a company so arrogant as to tell me "Piss off, we're too busy to even let you wait to talk to us". Maybe a gunowner boycott will help them to see the light.
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Old May 3, 2001, 04:19 PM   #19
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I saw this thread mentioned on and popped over to take a look.

If you're with BofA and want to refinance your mortgage, get a refi through Todd Savage at (925) 634-4600. He's a shooter and was offering members a $400 credit at a local FFL. Don't know what he would offer Firing Line members, but I'm sure it would be worth it.

I'm refinancing my mortgage through him right now, as well as a friend of mine and my parents. Very professional, highly recommended. Besides, wouldn't you rather give your business to a fellow patriot?


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Old May 3, 2001, 04:56 PM   #20
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I just quite recently used my Bank Of America credit card to order some accessories from one of the oldest and one of the larger firearms manufacturers in the country. There was no hassle.

So, I am a confused about what is going on.
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Old May 3, 2001, 07:25 PM   #21
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Is Bank of America the same as MBNA America?
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Old May 3, 2001, 07:26 PM   #22
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We Won.

It looks like we won. Go to the link at listed previously.
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Old May 3, 2001, 07:42 PM   #23
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Awesome. I may have to buy a Glock, just to have Mark make it usable.
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Protect your Right to Keep and Bear Arms!
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Old May 3, 2001, 08:39 PM   #24
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Amazing. The power of the Internet.
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Old May 3, 2001, 08:48 PM   #25
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Here is the latest!

Thanks to SmithZ in giving the link, here is the latest:

Its been less than a week. A very busy forty hours as tens of thousands of people have received, written and forwarded e-mails and e-mail links to this page and my dispute with BofA. In 40 hours I got calls from several newspapers from Oregon to Florida, several national gun magazines and local and national talk radio shows. 40 hours of irate gun owners and second-amendment supporters canceling their BofA credit cards, checking, and savings accounts; writing angry letters and making phone calls. Just 40 hours as some of the 83 million law-abiding gun owners expressed their outrage at such blatant discrimination. 40 hours to make the Bank of America behemoth jump!
I received a call at 10 AM this morning (5-3-01) , from Loraine Stinmel at Bank of America. She informed me that BofA is now drafting a new policy letter to the effect of "We do not as a policy discourage any merchant selling firearms from submitting an application for merchant services with us . . . we will not decline an application based on the gun industry itself." Who was responsible for the definitive statement "Bank of America does not offer merchant services to the gun industry," that Daniel (just following guidance from his superiors) used as a basis for refusing my application? BofA isn't saying. Loraine could only say "If we did this in the past, why? It doesn't make sense. . . We are not quite sure why this policy was distributed."

Whether it was an official national change to the Merchant Services Policy, as BofA told me, or an unwritten national corporate policy, or a BofA Arizona regional policy, or the individual prejudice of someone relatively high up in the BofA Arizona hierarchy, we may never know.

I do know is that this a great victory for gun owners!

1. Bank of America will not discriminate against the gun industry (either because its wrong, or because it hurts them financially - you decide).

2. Other businesses will take heed of the incredible influence of gun owners as a consumer block.

3. Gun owners got to see how fast their network of like-minded Americans can force change in even a huge corporation like BofA.

I have learned an important lessons that may be of value to other activists. Once I sent the first e-mail, it gained a life of its own - and I could not call it back. Passionate gun owners passed the message on to their networks with their own editorial comments. When further spread, the line between my original statements and the comments of people forwarding it became blurred. Some would only cut and paste what they considered the most important parts of my original message. Quickly, hundreds of versions of my message were out there. SINCE WE ARE THE GOOD GUYS - its absolutely imperative that activist notifications be accurate beyond reproach. If the anti-freedom pundits can find one minor technical error, they can capitalize on it and shed doubt on the accuracy of the entire message. While in my specific issue, I have not seen any messages coming back to me with bad information, I quickly realized the potential for problems. Thus this page of my website. I encourage others with activist issues to have a single, constantly-updated source that people can refer to both to verify that its not an internet hoax, and to obtain the most up-to-date information. Insure that a link to that webpage is included in all forwarded e-mails. I consider it a testament to the integrity of the gun culture that I received so many requests for authentication before the people were willing to take action or forward the message. Thank you. Thank you all for such incredible support.

A few issues still remain unresolved. At the time of this writing, I have not received a written copy of the new policy statement. I also have not learned who was responsible for the previous policy and if it was an individual, if there will be any disciplinary action.


Who is Next?

Who is next? Airborne Express will not ship any firearms or firearms related products. I opened my Airborne Express account when UPS - unable to keep their employees from stealing guns - required all handgun shipments to go by Next Day Air at a 400+% price increase. Several months later, I learned that Airborne Express banned all guns and gun related products. Ironically, I received a query from ABNEX corporate office as to why I stopped shipping with them. When I advised them of their blatant discrimination against one of the most highly regulated industries in the country, I got some cheesy form letter back saying they would "take my comments into consideration."
Activism is a full-time job. I lost a week of work pursuing the BofA issue. I just don't have the time right now to go after Airborne Express. The $6000-$8000 I spend each year on out-going freight goes with other companies instead. Maybe Airborne Express needs a reminder of what a huge market share they lost and how simple it would be to regain it?

To own firearms is to affirm that freedom and liberty are not gifts from the state.
Winchesters Forever (Levers and Pumps 73s, 90s, 92s, 06s, 61s and 63s)
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