With Gary Ramey's fledgling gun-making business taking off in retail stores, he decided to start offering one of his handguns for sale on his website.
That didn't sit well with the company he used to process payments, and they informed him they were dropping his account. Another credit card processing firm told him the same thing: They wouldn't do business with him.
Honor Defense is a small operation with a handful of employees that include Ramey's son and his wife who work out of a nondescript building in a Georgia office park north of Atlanta. In 2016, its first year, it sold 7,500 firearms. Its products handcrafted 9mm handguns that come in a variety of colors can now be found in more than 1,000 stores.
When Ramey noticed that neither Stripe nor Intuit would process payments through his site, he submitted a complaint with Georgia's attorney general's office, counting on help from a state law that prohibits discrimination by financial service firms against the gun industry. But the state rejected it, saying that credit card processing is not considered a financial service under state law.
Monthly reports from the federal government show background checks to purchase a firearm are up over last year so far, so the early actions apparently have not put a dent in sales.
Still, the industry believes it needs stronger laws against financial retaliation in the future.
"We may have to seek legislation to make sure it can't be done and that you can't discriminate against individuals from lawful exercise of a constitutional right," said Larry Keane, senior vice president and legal counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents gun makers.
Edited by Euler, 24 June 2018 - 10:45 PM.