Originally published January 29 2015
Payment processors are banning transactions for legal firearms
by J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) The politically correct Left's undeclared (and unpublicized) war on the firearms industry is continuing, albeit in subtle ways, with the latest salvo coming from an unexpected quarter -- payment processing firms.
As reported by The Daily Signal (DS), more and more payment processing companies like PayPal, Square, Stripe and Spark Pay no longer allow their software to be used for online, and some in-store, purchases of firearms, despite the fact that gun sales are some of the most heavily regulated in the country.
"Being shut out from mainstream payment processors makes us feel like we are part of some type of shady business when, in fact, there is more regulation and documentation required for federally licensed firearms dealers than most businesses," Trevor Blandford of Terminal Performance Associates in Caroline, Va., told the online news site.
The 21-year-old Blandford has been working at gun shows on behalf of the family business since he was a young teenager. In recent times, his parents named him general manager of the company, which is known for custom-built pistols and rifles, and original custom wraps. They sell their wares online and at local shows.
Have to abide by global laws
In order to process payments, vendors and merchants use a payment process of some sort -- third-party companies, most commonly, that handle credit card transactions between banks and merchants.
As the news site reported, however:
The concern some firearms sellers expressed to The Daily Signal is that restricting their access to some of the largest payment processors in the country -- who offer the lowest transaction fees in the business -- puts them at an unfair disadvantage to other industries.
With the pay-processing self-restrictions and the multitude of federal and state regulations governing weapons sales, many in the firearms industry say it's not even worth it to start a gun business.
"In most of the states, especially California and New York, you're a lunatic if you start a gun business," Cody Wilson, co-founder of Defense Distributed told the news site, adding that he has had his business bank account closed by Chase Bank (because, he believes, his is a firearms business).
He said he was also blocked twice from his PayPal account and Stripe shut him out.
As reported by the DS, Stripe is based in San Francisco, a bastion of left-wing politics; the start-up provides a way for websites and mobiles apps to take payments using a variety of systems, from credit cards to Apple Pay.
The DS further noted:
Some payment processors publicly state their policy against gun sellers. Square, for example, which is famous for its tiny white credit card reader that plugs into iPhones and other cellular devices, explicitly prohibits sellers from accepting payments in connection with firearms.
PayPal, the news site reported, implemented a policy of not accepting firearms transactions in 2003; officials there are hiding behind the global economy.
"As a leader in global payments, we have to comply with laws and regulations around the world," a PayPal spokesperson told the DS.
One processor stepped up, though
As for Square, the company was not always anti-firearms. A number of vendors at The Nation's Gun Show recently held in Dulles, Va., said the company used to accommodate firearms sales. Others used to as well, according to merchants.
Now, however, they have gun dealers feeling as though they are shady, second-class citizens, despite the fact they are selling legal items (which are also constitutionally protected).
But in a free-market environment, some firm usually steps up to fill a void, and in this case, that company is Transnational, a payment process that is overt in its support for gun dealers, gun owners and the Second Amendment.
"Our decision to provide services within the firearms industry mostly is predicated by the fact that we believe through the obtaining of [a federal firearms license] it's one of the more heavily regulated processes that has good governance and good oversight," said Jae Haas, president of Transnational, in a phone interview with The Daily Signal.
Haas added that his company also handles payment processing for a range of other companies.
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