Wells Fargo to Hogue Inc: We won’t do business with weapons manufacturers.

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Operation Choke-point is the scandal-ridden Department of Justice’s initiative aimed at punishing making business difficult for those industries they don’t like. Payday lenders (ok, these can be dicey but are still better than loan-sharks), coin dealers (precious metals throw a wrench in their fiat currency scam), and firearms manufacturers and dealers (because…guns are icky and stuff) have all been targeted by the Obama’s highly-politicized DOJ. Since the Administration’s frontal assaults on the Second Amendment have not yielded the results they want, they have resorted to Executive Branch action to try to move the ball. In this they are pressuring financial institutions to deny banking services to the targeted industries.

While Congress is trying to put an end this abuse, Operation Choke Point is expanding into new realms. This past Friday Hogue Inc. announced that Wells Fargo has refused to do business with them, because they ostensibly manufacture “weapons”.

From Hogue Inc. via Facebook:

We were just informed that Wells Fargo Bank would not do business with us, refusing to provide their services based on the fact that we manufacture “weapons” (aka knives). Incredibly, this refusal came after THEY initially pursued us to gain our business. Once we had decided to go with Wells Fargo, they then pulled the plug saying they could not provide their services since we manufacture weapons…Needless to say, we are shocked and confused – considering their logo is a stagecoach and driver with a shotgun too! We felt we needed to inform the firearm and knife community of this discriminatory stance Wells Fargo has taken.

The “knife community” hears you Hogue, and is attempting to get the word out. Alex Antoniou, editor of KnifeNews.com actually alerted me to the story, and wanted to get my opinion on it. You can read their coverage here.

I also corresponded with KnifeRights Chairman Doug Ritter about the situation and he sent me the following statement:

“When Aaron Hogue let me know what had happened, I was shocked to a degree, but not entirely surprised. We know some banks and credit card processors have been discriminating against knife retailers for some time now, but this was the first time I’ve been aware of a bank discriminating against a knife manufacturer. Moreover, this is after they came looking for Hogue’s business. Pretty disgusting on so many levels, in my opinion.  We’re working to see what Knife Rights can do to assist our good friends at  Hogue.”

Disgusting would be a diplomatic term for it. I can think of several stronger.

It is bad enough that the Executive Branch uses the levers of government to target their political enemies. What makes this situation worse is that these companies are not just engaging in legal commerce, they are producing and selling products that are not only legal but actually specifically protected under the Second Amendment.

The DOJ  didn’t see fit to stop at guns, they are now going after knives and knife companies. Why stop there? Why not go after automobile manufacturers? Any tool can be used as a weapon. An ISIS terrorist killed more than 80 people with a truck in Nice. Yet we have also seen a bystander thwart a machete attack in Germany by using his car to run over the perp. In both cases it was a human actor using an inanimate tool to further their ends – in one case terror and murder, and in another to try and save lives. The tool chosen did not target anyone, despite the assertions of my hometown newspaper.

Congress is attempting to right this wrong, but the wheels grind slowly in Washington. There have been hearings on Operation Choke Point and a bill has passed the House which would stop this abuse and discrimination, but it is bogged down in the Senate. Senators Mike Lee and Ted Cruz are leading the effort try and fix the problem.

From The Daily Signal:

“Under President Obama’s reign, the DOJ has abandoned its longstanding tradition of staying out of politics and has instead become a partisan arm of the White House,” Cruz said. “The Obama administration initiated Operation Choke Point to punish law-abiding small businesses that don’t align with the president’s political leanings. The DOJ should not be abusing its power by trying to bankrupt American citizens for exercising their constitutional rights.”

The bill, called the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, bans federal agencies that oversee banks from requesting or ordering banks to terminate customer accounts “unless the regulator has material reason.”

The measure also requires banking regulators to put in writing any “formal or informal” requests for account termination, and requires those regulators to file an annual report to Congress regarding those requests. To scale back Operation Choke Point or any similar initiatives, the bill also amends the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989.”

Good luck getting the current administration to sign it, even if you can get it passed. Obama has already indicated he will use his veto pen if it reaches his desk. Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that whichever side wins the election is not likely to show more deference to Constitutional limits on Executive power. At best the targets are likely to change. Better for 2nd Amendment related industries, worse for the rule of law and the overall health of our Republic.

Meanwhile, the fate of businesses such as Hogue Inc. and the families that depend on them for their livelihoods hangs in the balance. The Constitutional underpinning of the right to bear the tools they produce does as well.

 


For a more backstory on Operation Choke Point and the mechanics of how it is being used to discriminate against legal businesses, watch this 1 minute video from Daily Signal.

comments

  1. Lee Dodson says:

    Wells Fargo has been in the govt pocket for years…going back to shady inflation of repossession practices
    via Fannie Mae. The property was auctioned at low prices, but withheld from sale, resold from WF to Fannie Mae
    at exorbitant price. Thus, the California RE market remained inflated.

    One 800 sq.ft. house on 4,000 sq. ft. lot in La Canada, CA sold at $600K in a sweetheart deal managed by
    WF.

    Not surprising the bank is involved in other illegal behavior. I wrote an article about it in
    The Brenner Brief, and was totally ignored.

  2. DJ says:

    While horse-and-buggy bank’s actions are wrong either way, how are we sure that Hogue is being targeted because of knives, vs. all the gun accessories that they make? I’m not at all plugged-in to the knife world, but I know Hogue’s line of revolver and pistol grips, along with their rifle/shotgun stocks and forends, are hugely popular add-ons for many gun owners. It appears as though knives were a recent addition to their corporate portfolio, whereas they’ve been making gun parts (including stuff for the eeeevil AR-15 style rifles) for decades.

    I think it’s far more plausible that the bank pursued their business thinking they only made knives, and when they found out Hogue made gun parts for icky ARs, they dropped them like a hot rock.

    1. I was curious about that myself, but it is a long way from grips to receivers. Hogue is insisting it is because of the knives. According to Doug Ritter, some knife retailers have been affected.

      1. DJ says:

        It would be quite interesting to see how many of the other affected companies are strictly knife makers/retailers. If several fell into that category, then I’d be more comfortable rejecting the gun-parts-are-the-real-driver theory.

    2. Seabisquit says:

      And the issue still remains the same. There is no real appeal to strong-arm bank regulators.
      Why is the supply of new homes available for sale so low? Main street banks are punished if they lend to developers and municipalities pus all the permitting /development cost too high. We had to spend about $10,000 to update a commercial appraisal on a development loan performing to plan and even paying ahead of schedule because having one such loan as a community bank was disturbing.

      With the extra staff time that cost eliminated profit on that loan for the year and then in the rising market it sold everything ahead of schedule and paid off the loan. At least we had good will with the served customer.

  3. Buck Wheaton says:

    Fish rots from the head down. This fish has a very big head.

    1. Alan says:

      Big … and soft

  4. 'TreHammer says:

    Does this example of Wells Fargo refusing to do business with a knife manufacturing company, in any way, relate to small businesses (like bakeries and wedding photographers) refusing to provide services to gay couples?

    1. Jonny Fox says:

      I was thinking the same thing. Doesn’t Hogue have other banking options? Why not just choose a bank that won’t discriminate against them? Funny what happens when this situation is turned around.

  5. Bilwick says:

    Jim Hardie would be ashamed.

  6. Cadeyrn says:

    What about Wusthof, Henkels, Solingen, Kikuichi Cutlery, Ken Onion, or literally thousands of other knife makers around the world?

    Oh, kitchen knives are different from pocket knives? What about camping knives? Axes?

    Where does the lunacy end?

  7. Kaiser Derden says:

    “Adding to the uncertainty is the fact that whichever side wins the election is not likely to show more deference to Constitutional limits on Executive power. ”

    name one thing Trump has said that shows he’s not willing to honor the Constitutional limits on Executive power …

  8. Patricia cline says:

    I have a question . …who guards the armored trucks and what weapons do they carry ? Walk in WFB and look on security guards side ….is that not a weapon on his side ? Who guards the money and with what weapons ? So done with WFB ….

    1. Lorie says:

      Excellent point!

  9. Teknikid says:

    They should be able to sue them for discrimination, if a gay couple can scream about not getting a wedding cake. Wells Fargo is one of the corrupt banks at the top, in bed with the government, in bed with the Federal Reserve.

  10. vin says:

    Wells Fargo could not be more hypocritical, particularly since they seem to love doing business with GE (such as this nugget: https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/press/2016/acquisition-ge-capital_0301/)… which I think by now everyone is aware of being one of the nation’s largest defense contractors (i.e.: http://www.benzinga.com/news/16/06/8173810/ge-wins-919m-u-s-defense-contract-pentagon).

    So, as almost anyone can see, WF is just being the good little lapdogs that more politically adroit players are forcing them to be in order to advance a bullshit social agenda.

  11. Zundfolge says:

    Hogue has dodged a bullet here … Wells Fargo is flatly the worst bank to be a customer of. The fact that they won’t do business with “manufacturers of weapons” is only saving “manufacturers of weapons” a myriad of headaches and trouble.

    Hogue, find a nice local Credit Union in Nevada to take your business. You’ll be happier, healthier and better served by them than Wells Fargo would ever serve you.

    1. Lorie says:

      Agree!!! I have never banked with them, but I have heard horror stories from people who have banked with them and gotten loans from them.

  12. Daniel T says:

    Wells Fargo ….. This is crazy talk !?!?! It’s stunningly un-American!

  13. JOHN KILLEN says:

    the banks and the government are the same coin, just a different aspect,
    The only way do deal with these mega corporations is hit em where it hurt……. WITHDRAW YOUR CONSENT ( MONEY)
    BANKRUPT THE BASTARDS.

  14. Apollyon says:

    But they did plenty of money laundering with drug cartels before they changed their name to Wells Fargo from Wachovia. What a bunch of Hippocrates.

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2010-06-29/banks-financing-mexico-s-drug-cartels-admitted-in-wells-fargo-s-u-s-deal

    1. Smilin' Jack says:

      No, that is wrong. Wells Fargo was started in 1852 by Henry Wells and William Fargo. The bank acquired Wachovia in 2008. You have it backwards. As to money laundering, that is another story entirely.

  15. Isn’t it Operation Anaconda, whereby they slowly choke the life out of businesses deemed threatening to the global governance plans? Remember, they really do plan to establish a central world government. Eliminating the means to resist is very important. The central pillars of their incrementalism is to disarm, disenfranchise and disrupt. Weak men, broken families and death to our historical culture. The only way rational free men can prevail is to directly engage these globalists. I mean fight them. I do not think we can out-wait them, because our children are being sucked into the transgender/neutering/emasculating global mindset. It is psychological conditioning, and they control the main press.

    May the Lord God give us wisdom, understanding and faith.

    davis

    1. Chris says:

      May no human being ever have the misfortune of going to what appears to be a website where you spew your self-indulging trash. Keep the conversation on topic instead of trying to change the subject to a problem of “misbegotten youth”, you sound like the pastor of an old dying church. Only hope you don’t have children whom had no choice but to listen to you their entire lives. Heaven forbid we talk about weapons… death to historical culture and our children being sucked into transgender/emasculating global mindset??? LMFAO what a kook.

      1. Gerald says:

        He actually was talking about firearms.
        The reasons why the taking of firearms is happening.
        Don’t just read, comprehend what what your reading.

  16. David says:

    …..but Wells Fargo has no issues laundering dope proceeds or engaging in predatory lending. We should give all of the big banks their walking papers.

  17. Bruce says:

    Well, I am a Wells Fargo client. I know for a fact that they cooperate with weapons manufacturers because they have me invested in General Dynamics – even though I requested not to invest in weapons manufacturers.

  18. Robert Blake says:

    Add to this the new executive action requiring “weapons manufacturers” and importers (aka gunsmiths, small parts makers, etc) to register with the State Department and pay a $2250 annual fee, or face prison and huge fines.
    http://bulletin.accurateshooter.com/2016/07/alert-feds-impose-itar-registration-burdens-on-gunsmiths/
    This is incremental and deliberate, since efforts to nullify the 2nd Amendment have so far failed to gain much traction, by slowly squeezing suppliers.

    1. I toyed with bringing up this one as well, but I couldn’t do it without seeming like a major tangent. Thanks for mentioning it here.

  19. Soluna says:

    Wells Fargo is the worst bank. One small example: they delay deposits and accelerate withdrawls to generate overdraft fees. Find another bank and strongly consider the smaller banks.

  20. Jakob Stagg says:

    No problem. I can easily assure I don’t do business with Wells Fargo.

  21. KaD says:

    Wells Fargo is one of the biggest criminal corporations on the planet. If America had ANY semblance of justice anymore they’d be in jail for life by now and the corporation handed a court order to revoke their corporate charter-the corporate death penalty. Did you know one of the recent bills passed had language tacked on that makes bank depositors into bank investors? So when a bank fails they have the LEGAL right to confiscate your deposits. THINK about that.

  22. N2Art says:

    Last Straw…I’ll be changing banks, which is fine because the CEO of the company is one of the men who did prison time for the Saving and Loan scandal. That’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Wells Fargo.

    1. Zundfolge says:

      If you’re changing banks, find a nice local Credit Union.

      New FDIC rules basically have converted your bank deposits into an unsecured loan you’re making to the bank so your money is now farther down the line to be repaid if a bank fails and FDIC is going to pay out.

      Truth is if your money is in a bank and the bank goes under you’re SOL. Your money will disappear in a “bail in”.

  23. Tommy38 says:

    Wells Fargo is becoming very political. They dropped out of the RNC when they realized Trump was possible nominee for the Rep party. Wells Fargo home office is in San Francisco- enough said

  24. Mark says:

    Wells Fargo doesn’t do business with weapons manufacturers? Thats a lie. Who do they buy there guns from to protect the MONEY. Hey Wells Faggos why don’t you disarm your armor car and security guards you hypocrite bastards.

  25. micheal gibson says:

    I dumped those losers long ago. Closed my accounts and moved to a financial institution that managed money rather than people lives.

  26. Stealth Spaniel says:

    Wells Fargo Bank=Worst Bank Ever!! They did this manufacturer a favor by withdrawing. There are plenty of great credit unions and small banks that would welcome their business with open arms. And notice I said-manufacturer. It is no one elses business WHAT you manufacture. You can strangle someone with kitchen twine, beat someone’s brains out with a hammer, or kill somebody with a frying pan. Are we demonizing those too?? Good grief.

  27. Vanns40 says:

    DJ – So what? It doesn’t matter whether it’s knives or guns, as long as it’s a legal product. The Govt has NO business influencing any bank or business and there needs to be redress with serious consequences (jail time) for any Govt official who tries to do this.

  28. It is both ILLEGAL AN IMMORAL FOR THE GOVERNMENT TO INTERVENE IN ANY LEGALLY OPERATED BUSINESS THRU FINANCES!!!!! There is your answer, again the are interfering with the FREEDOM TO WORK!!!!!!

  29. Brian Fisk says:

    I will no longer do any business with Wells Fargo…

  30. JEFFCOMO says:

    I wonder if Wells Fargo loans to Liquor Stores, Craft Beer Manufacturers, Pharmacies that sell Opiates, ATV Manufacturers and dealers, Trampoline and swimming pool manufacturers..Good Lord the carnage.

  31. Brian Ehni says:

    McMillan Group International hit the same wall, and started their own credit services. Check them out!

  32. Steve Howell says:

    I’m certainly happy to have read this. Wells Fargo has been courting my record store for a while and I had all but made up my mind to switch. I’ll do some of my own research and if this all stands up I will not be giving them my business.

    1. Brian Ehni says:

      Check into https://mcmillanusa.com/mcmillan-merchant-solutions/

      Disclaimer: I’m not affiliated with McMillan, and not even a customer.

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Wells Fargo to Hogue Inc: We won’t do business with weapons manufacturers.

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