Bank of America Can't Shake Anti-Second Amendment Reputation

Recurring allegations continue to surface in cyberspace that the Bank of America has adopted a policy prohibiting it from doing business with firearms manufacturers and retailers.

BoA, one of the world's largest financial institutions with 57 million individual banking accounts and four million small business customers, has been the focus of enmity on many pro-Second Amendment websites since April last year.

In April 2012, McMillan Manufacturing in Phoenix, Ariz., claimed BoA told the firearms-maker, a 12-year customer of the bank, that the "company's business would no longer be welcomed ... because (it) manufactures firearms."

Kelly D. McMillan, McMillan operations manager, said in an April 19, 2012, post on the company's Facebook page that BoA Senior Vice President Ray Fox told him that his company "won't be allowed to use the bank's services because they're in the firearms business and support the Second Amendment."

In December 2012, American Spirit Firearms, also based in Arizona, claims its account was frozen by BoA because the bank determined the gunmaker "should not be selling guns on the Internet," alleged company's owner Joe Sirochman in a Dec. 29, 2012 post on the company's website.

Sirochman said his company's website orders jumped by 500 percent, prompting larger deposits in its BoA account. "So they decided to hold the deposits for further review," Sirochman wrote, adding an employee at the local bank scolded him about selling firearms on the Internet.

BoA has denied the allegations beginning in April 2012 and, most recently, in February 2013.

Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for BoA, told Snopes.com in April 2012 that although she couldn't comment on her company's dealings with individual companies, "Bank of America does not have a policy that prohibits us from banking clients in this (firearms) industry. In fact we have numerous long-standing customers in this industry."

Pace told Snopes.com that BoA concluded a $250 million deal with Freedom Group, Inc., an international firearms and ammunition producer, in 2012.

Ironically, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in December identified BoA and TD Bank as two financial institutions his city will stop doing business with because of their support for the firearms industry. Emanuel "accused" BoA of extending a $25 million line of credit to Sturm, Ruger & Co.

So, is BoA anti-Second Amendment?

"The bank has denied the allegation," wrote Seattle Gun Examiner Dave Workman in April 2012. "It's quickly becoming a case of 'he said/he said,' with some gunowners expressing skepticism, others accepting the report as true."