Bank of America handed over customers’ personal information to the Feds following pro-Trump protests at the Capitol, according to Fox News. The news outlet reported that about 211 customers whose profile fitted the following description had their information handed in for investigation.
1. Customers confirmed as transacting, either through bank account debit card or credit card purchases in Washington, D.C. between 1/5 and 1/6.
2. Purchases made for Hotel/Airbnb RSVPs in DC, VA, and MD after 1/6.
3. Any purchase of weapons or at a weapons-related merchant between 1/7 and their upcoming suspected stay in the D.C. area around Inauguration Day.
4. Airline-related purchases since 1/6.
One person was questioned and subsequently cleared after he was found innocent. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson says that Bank Of America did not deny handing over personal information to federal investigators. It however replied by saying it does not discuss its communication and cooperation with federal authorities.
"We don't comment on our communications with law enforcement. All banks have responsibilities under federal law to cooperate with law enforcement inquiries in full compliance with the law."
The Firearms Owners’ Protection Act of 1986 prohibited turning “any portion of the contents of such records” being transferred to a “facility owned, managed, or controlled by the United States or any State or any political subdivision thereof.” Even if the feds requested that information, the bank has the responsibility to challenge such requests.
Banks have always played a crucial role in the anti-gun agenda. For example, the Obama-era Operation Choke Point allowed banks to deny firearm businesses by categorizing them as involved in “high risk” activities. Even now, anti-gunners are looking for more ways to use financial institutions in undermining Americans’ constitutional rights
In 2018, the former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Mike Crapo wrote to the Bank of America and eight other major institutions warning them against discriminating against businesses engaging in constitutionally protected activities.
Trump finalized a law that would prevent banks from discriminating against firearm businesses. However, the new administration suspended the regulation for review.
The gun-control group Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts asked credit card operators to monitor firearm transactions and block “ghost guns” purchases.
The Wallstreet Journal also reported ongoing discussions by banks and credit card companies to create a new code for firearm dealers to allow identification of gun purchases.
This development would create a massive surveillance program allowing such companies to block gun purchases at will and sharing more personal information with the authorities.
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