Authored by Naveen Ahtrappully via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said he approved of software firm Intuit’s decision to reverse a ban on gun companies from accessing its payroll and payment processing services.
Prior to Aug. 1, 2023, Intuit had prohibited gun sellers and manufacturers from using the full features of its QuickBooks service, an accounting software. Firearm manufacturers were not allowed to access QuickBooks’ payroll services, while entities that sold guns were ineligible for QuickBooks’ payment processing services.
However, the company has now changed course.
“I welcome Intuit’s reversal of its policy that had forbidden gun manufacturers and sellers from using certain QuickBooks services,” Mr. Cruz said in a Sept. 25 letter (pdf) to the company. “Intuit’s recent decision to allow such businesses to use the company’s payroll and payment services—a change prompted by my staff’s oversight investigation—was long overdue.”
Mr. Cruz became aware of Intuit’s “discriminatory policies” when Dawson Precision, a Texas firearms parts manufacturer, informed his office that Inuit had, “without warning,” terminated the business' subscription to QuickBooks payroll services, the letter said.
“Dawson Precision only discovered what had happened after it submitted payroll and, rather than receiving confirmation that payroll had been processed, received a notification that its payroll subscription had been terminated," Mr. Cruz wrote. "Intuit later said that it canceled Dawson Precision’s account because, as a firearm manufacturer, it was in violation of Intuit’s acceptable use policy.”
Dawson Precision attempted to appeal the termination but did not succeed in reversing the cancellation. Due to Intuit’s actions, the firm had to print paper checks for several weeks.
Other Business Affected
When Intuit abruptly stopped providing credit card processing services to Arizona-based Gunsite Academy, it prevented the business from functioning efficiently, Mr. Cruz pointed out. The academy provided marksmanship training and sold guns. Intuit insisted that its policy bans businesses that engage in “non-face-to-face gun sales,” according to the letter.
Even when Gunsite Academy pointed out that it only shipped firearms to dealers and not directly to customers, Intuit refused to reverse its ban.
“Intuit’s policy effectively prohibited small businesses that sell firearms from operating online, even though such sales are entirely legal and heavily regulated,” the letter said.
“My staff have not yet received a satisfactory explanation as to why restrictions were necessary for businesses that ship firearms to another licensed firearms dealer, or why a private entity desired to impose an extra-governmental, quasi-regulatory requirement on a lawful industry.”
Following an investigation conducted by Mr. Cruz’s staff, Intuit reversed the policy.
“My staff will continue their investigation to ensure that no financial services firm unnecessarily limits the firearm industry’s access to accounting or banking products,” the letter stated.
“Intuit should confirm that its revised policy regarding gun manufacturers and sellers is final,” Mr. Cruz said. In addition, the company should “update my staff when it has informed its customers of the new policies and offered to reinstate the accounts of all the customers that it previously had removed based on the old policies.”
Pressured by Banks
According to Mr. Cruz’s letter, Intuit’s policies against firearms sellers and manufacturers were not “entirely of its own making.” The company said that its two banking partners, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase & Co., demanded that it enforce such policies.
It was Bank of America that asked Intuit to block firearms manufacturers from using QuickBooks payroll services, while JPMorgan asked it to restrict payment processing service for firearms sellers, the letter said.
JPMorgan acknowledged to Mr. Cruz’s staff that it did issue such a directive. “Bank of America, however, denied that it had ever given Intuit any instructions relating to firearm manufacturers or sellers,” the letter stated.
“Intuit insisted that Bank of America did. Regardless of who originated these discriminatory policies against gun manufacturers, Intuit was right to end them.”
A spokesperson for Intuit said in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times that the company’s acceptable use policy is “based on various factors, including compliance with laws and banking partner requirements. Our commitment to customers is unwavering, and we will continue to ensure our policies serve their needs.”
Protecting Gun Rights
Intuit’s reversal of its gun business policy is one of the latest victories for gun rights advocates in recent times.
On Sept. 8, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced a 30-day gun carry ban for counties over a certain size. However, U.S. District Judge David Urias put the governor’s declaration on hold, calling the order unconstitutional. Gun Owners of America and its legal arm, the Gun Owner’s Foundation, had sued to block the order.
On Sept. 22, a federal judge from California determined that the state’s ban on gun magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition is unconstitutional.
“The history and tradition of the Second Amendment clearly supports state laws against the use or misuse of firearms with unlawful intent, but not the disarmament of the law-abiding citizen,” U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez, appointed by President George W. Bush, wrote in the decision.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration recently announced the formation of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which has raised concerns among gun rights groups.
The office will be led by Vice President Kamala Harris and will be run with the help of gun safety advocates, White House officials stated.
“This new White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention ... will drive and coordinate a government and a nationwide effort to reduce gun violence in America,” President Joe Biden said, adding that he was “determined to send a clear message about how important this issue is to me and to the country.”