California State Senator Dave Min
California State Sen. Dave Min (AP Photo/Eugene Garcia)
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Never underestimate the ability of California lawmakers to embrace the wildest ideas when it comes to eliminating gun rights. Other states are pushing back on “woke” banking discrimination. Not California. There’s an effort there to require it.

State Sen. Dave Min introduced SB 637, which requires that California’s public finances cease business with any banks or lenders that have business relationships with firearm manufacturers. The bill would affect every aspect of California’s finances, including municipal bonds, capital projects and the state’s debt.

It would be easy to say this is California taking the opposing track to what Texas did with the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act. That’s the law that states if corporate banks hold discriminatory policies, they can’t compete for state or municipal contracts. Those corporate banks are free to discriminate if they choose, but forfeit the ability to profit from Texas taxpayer-funded contracts.

Similar legislation has been introduced in Congress by U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) and U.S. Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.). Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) introduced the Fair Access to Banking Act, which would require banks to provide access to services, capital, and credit based on the objective risk assessment of individual customers, rather than subjective broad-based decisions affecting whole categories or classes of customers. Several states are considering their own FIND Acts, including Iowa,Montana,Kentucky and West Virginia. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis recently announced he’s seeking similar legislation for his state.

The difference between these laws and California’s legislation is that California’s proposal requires corporations to discriminate for the sole reason that firearm manufacturers are in the business of making guns.

That’s nothing to sneeze at, given California’s economy is poised to be the world’s 4th largest at $3.4 trillion. According to the World Economic Forum, it is set to surpass Germany’s economy.

According to the OC Breeze, the California Treasurer’s Office manages approximately $3.1 trillion in banking transactions within a fiscal year, including selling bonds and overseeing the state’s debt and investment portfolios. California currently reports $63.3 billion in total General Obligation bonds outstanding.

Codifying Operation Choke Point

Sen. Min’s proposed legislation is a state-level Operation Choke Point, the illegal coercion by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to discriminate against firearm manufacturers and businesses. A U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform investigation found that the FDIC included federally licensed firearms retailers and other companies in the firearms and ammunition industry – some of the most heavily regulated businesses in the country – on a list of risky businesses without any evidence or justification.

Sen. Min’s bill would codify that. He’s no stranger to antigun legislation. He authored the law that ended the sale of firearms and ammunition on state property, which ended gun shows on state fairgrounds.

The bill, though, might be facing legal headwinds. Specifically, it could run headlong into the Commerce Clause. That’s the part of the U.S. Constitution that gives Congress the sole power to regulate interstate commerce.

Sen. Min’s bill would deny business to any corporate entity unless it adopts California’s mandate that those businesses refuse business to law abiding, credit-worthy firearm manufacturers. Given the size of California’s economy, this is a direct threat to firearm manufacturers, which comprise a Constitutionally-protected industry. If the government forces the industry out of existence by threat of economic might, it is unlawfully limiting the ability of the firearm industry – and the banks that provide financial services – from conducting interstate commerce. That’s the responsibility of Congress to regulate – not California.

This bill would also run afoul of the Second Amendment. The goal of this bill obviously is to drive the firearm industry out of existence, and with it the ability of law-abiding Americans to exercise their right to acquire firearms for lawful purposes including self-protection. It would shutter the industry that provides the tools law enforcement uses to protect America’s communities and the U.S. military to defend the homeland.

Golden State Discrimination

This isn’t the first time California has wielded its economic might to discriminate against the firearm industry. California Public Employees’ Retirement System, or CalPERS, is one of the largest public employee pension funds in the country. Entire industries have been on the CalPERS blacklist including tobacco and fossil fuels. Of course, gun control activists who have been having little luck in passing irrational legislation, are also targeting pension funds nationwide to urge divestment.

The problem is that fund managers owe a legal, fiduciary obligation to their investors – those people putting money into the public retirement funds. Fund managers aren’t picking the best performing portfolios, rather they are investing other people’s money to buoy special interests – in this case denying investment into firearm-related businesses at the behest of the gun control industry.

Tucker Carlson, of Fox News’ Tucker Carlson Tonight, reported in 2020 that Yu Meng, who was the Chief Investment Officer at CalPERS, “long engaged in shareholder activism to advance leftwing causes in this country like gun control and have been very aggressive about it.” At the same time, CalPERS invested Californians’ public employee retirement funds into companies that supply the Chinese military.

Meng resigned from CALPers in 2020, and the public fund was later sued by a former board member for alleging that CalPERS improperly held a closed door meeting about Meng’s exit, and has since refused to release records about it or the fund’s assets.

Min’s Antigun Future

None of that seems to concern Sen. Min. In fact, he sees his radical antigun efforts as a springboard to higher office. U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced she would not seek re-election in 2024. The scramble to replace her began before her official announcement, with U.S. Rep. Katie Porter (D-Calif.) throwing her hat into the arena. State Sen. Min sees this as his opportunity to take his antigun agenda from California to Washington, D.C. Rep. Porter endorsed Sen. Kim to replace her in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Sen. Min’s legislation and his political ambitions show the clear threat to Americans’ rights when special interests use the levers of government to pick and choose which rights are favored and disfavored.

 

Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Come and take it you treasonous little bastard. Come and get it, come on, come and take it from me.

  2. Discrimination and all sorts of evil rides along with Gun Control wherever it’s been and wherever it goes…Gun Control like its sidekick Slavery must be abolished.

  3. Firearms manufactures (particularly those in California) need to stop selling to any state agency within California. There are contracts but this state is trying it’s best to break those contracts.

    • We’ve been saying that for years, no decades! Yes, And if companies like Glock, Smith & Wesson, Colt, wont do it, the other gun companies need to stop make accessories for those companies. We need to stop feeding the government of states that have no interest in the constitution. Make them create their own government owned gun companies to make massively overpriced and low quality firearms for the local and state police agencies.

    • Yes, starve the law enforcement agencies and see how quick these bills go away. It would be a less than 1 year experiment.

  4. “The problem is that fund managers owe a legal, fiduciary obligation to their investors – those people putting money into the public retirement funds.”

    “Blackrock” sees differently; saving the planet trumps fiduciary responsibility. Or, saving the planet is the highest exercise of fiduciary obligation….keeping the planet alive so people can invest.

    And recently (yesterday), San Fran finds bans on government funded travel to red states isn’t working; increases costs to city.
    https://www.foxnews.com/media/san-francisco-considers-repealing-law-boycotted-conservative-states-anti-lgbtq-abortion-legislation.

    However, for however long Californication can disrupt firearms sales with the proposed legislation, it will have accomplished the goal.

  5. In California non-white and the sexually liberated lawmakers will pass laws that discriminate. But they will pass or repeal laws that allow people to use drugs in public. And they will not enforce laws that are still on the books, when people have sex in public, or urinate and defecate in public. That is the definition of “freedom” in California.

    Blacks were arrested in the 1960’s while openly carrying their guns. But in the 1980’s the white members of the Jewish Defense League, openly marched carrying loaded Thompson submachine guns. And they were not arrested.

    And in Sacramento County where I grew up righteous white men, correctly, began openly carrying long guns. Patrolling their neighborhoods at night time. Because the “East Area Rapist” had raped nearly 40 women and murdered a dozen people.

    There were so many people openly carrying guns at night time that the rapist ended up leaving the county. He would later move to Southern California and get renamed as the “Golden State Killer”.

    When I was a kid Sacramento was considered a very conservative area.

    • I was just in Sacramento again yesterday. All surrounding areas (Yuba City to the north, Stockton to the South, Tracy to the West, etc.) are conservative. Sacramento is the wretched hive of scum and villainy.

      Fortunately, my stay there was short.

      • I went back to Sacramento many times in my over 20 years of service in the military. I saw the changes happen gradually. And I realized that California was no longer a place I wanted to settle back to.

    • I had a journey through northern California recently. Some of the towns I passed through had very prominent “State of Jefferson” banners and signs out. Seems at least some portions of the state aren’t happy about the overall direction.

      Not that the folks in the coastal cities and Sacramento care, of course.

      • I think the more conservative areas should breaking off to form their own States. This is probably the best non-violent solution to our cultural problems. The conservative areas can pass laws that allow the law abiding residents there, to shoot dead on site anyone who commits personal property crimes there. This would be the best way to show liberals they’re not wanted around here.

        They can stay in the cities and plunder them at will. Since they don’t believe in enforcing laws. And they don’t believe in prosecuting criminals.

        • “I think the more conservative areas should breaking off to form their own States.”

          About 3yrs ago, the secessionists in Californication published a map of how they wanted to carve up the state, with rural areas allegedly separated from the tyranny of blue cities. The map was comical…every new “state” was anchored on a major blue city as the proposed capitol.

      • The Central Valley Republicans have been unhappy and pushing the State of Jefferson idea for decades without success. It has a lot to do with the fact that the population centers of the Bay Area and Greater Los Angeles have created a veto proof supermajority that cares little if at all about the issues faced by the farmers, loggers, and small business people who populated the Central Valley all the way to the Oregon border. The only thing Sacramento cares about is our water, limiting guns and gun rights, and restraining hunting.

        • Water will really become the most important issue in the Western United States probably within the next five or 10 years. Not only are the weather patterns changing for the worst. There are simply too many people living in the desert areas of this country. And same for the mountainous regions as well.

          It’s just crazy how many people live in the Denver Colorado area. As well as the huge numbers of people who live in the Las Vegas Nevada area.

          The illegal marijuana Farms are cutting into the allocated water sources for legal farmers. I suspect that there will be gunfire between these groups. The marijuana growers have historically shown a propensity for using violence to get their way.

        • @Chris,

          We don’t have so much of a water supply issue (e.g., “rain”) as we do a collection and distribution issue. Coming down the I-5 from NorCal to SoCal, I lost count of all the “Newsom, Stop Flushing All Our Rainwater to the Ocean!” signs along the way. The Dems *do* love their little speckled fishies more than pre-born human babies…

    • It has not been legal to openly carry loaded firearms in California (except when hunting) since 1968, thanks to fear of the Black Panthers, and to Governor Ronald Reagan. It has been illegal to openly carry sidearms, loaded or unloaded, since 2012, and long guns since 2014.

      • The police never arrested anyone openly carrying guns while they patrolled the streets at night in Sacramento County in the 1970s. It was widely reported in all the news media of the day this was going on.

        I personally believe the police suspected that the long guns being carried by these citizen patrols were loaded. And they never asked. Because the cops did not want that question to be answered. You can’t tell if a tubular magazine is loaded.

        But everyone assumes that a box magazine is loaded when it’s in a Thompson submachine gun.

        The militia as stated in the Second Amendment, was highly active in Sacramento County, when I was a kid back then.

    • Now perhaps people will understand why I am so rabid, about supporting the open carry of long Guns, by law abiding citizens.

  6. They would love to put a distinctive mark on all of us.

    Something like a yellow colored star.

  7. @Chris T in KY
    “There are simply too many people living in the desert areas of this country. And same for the mountainous regions as well.”

    This is both informative, and entertaining:

    • Thanks for the video!!! It reminds me of some of the things they use to teach in school when I was a kid. Mainly that cities were formed along rivers. Rivers being a natural Highway, that settlers could use to transport Commerce from one direction to another.

      When I was in college I used several of these nighttime Satellite photographs in my geography classes. A lot of my fellow students had never seen them before. I guess I just follow different science media than they did people.

      • “Mainly that cities were formed along rivers. Rivers being a natural Highway…”

        Had two military tours in Colorado in the 70s and 80s. Learned that zero rivers flow into Colorado; all rivers in the state flow out. If the Rockies have less than average snow in the mountains, several states that depend on the Colorado River were in for long summers.

  8. Dave Min rooks arot rike Reerand Ree (Leeland Yee) rets hope he winds up in the same prace as Ree (Yee) ie. prison.

  9. Nothing like passing a state law that’s already unconstitutional. Doing it on funds paid by state taxpayers too. If this alone isn’t fraud, waste, and abuse I don’t know what is.

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