There’s been yet another incident of ignorance merging with a desire to undermine our Second Amendment rights resulting in financial attack on a prominent industry company. This time it’s one I consider the equivalent of church for gun owners: Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona. Gunsite, which was founded by the late Col. Jeff Cooper in 1976 under the name American Pistol Institute, has found itself on the receiving end of anti-2A rhetoric last week from none other than Intuit, Inc., owner of QuickBooks small business accounting and management software.
This morning I chatted with Ken Campbell, Chief Operating Officer at Gunsite Academy. We started were all involved stories should; at the beginning.
A couple of months ago Gunsite decided to make a change to a new credit card processor, QuickBooks. It seemed to be a wise business choice at the time and may have been, had Intuit not chosen to go the way they did.
About ten days ago the Gunsite bookkeeper found herself on the receiving end of a phone call from QuickBooks. The company felt there was “trouble” because they had realized Gunsite sold knives and guns on their website. This, the QuickBooks rep said, meant sales weren’t face-to-face and “kids could buy them.”
Gunsite took the time to patiently, politely educate the rep on how FFLs work and explain the laws and processes of firearm sales. Once the process and regulations were laid out, the rep backpedaled, saying now that they understood the procedure, it was alright after all and business could continue.
Then, a week ago – May 11th, 2018 – Gunsite got another phone call from QuickBooks. This time it didn’t go as well. The software company informed Gunsite that they were immediately ceasing all business with them. Why? Because they sell and promote firearms.
At first blush this was frustrating news, but Gunsite figured it could be handled. Then the other shoe dropped: in addition to cutting business ties with Gunsite, QuickBooks/Intuit refused to release the money from credit card charges currently in process from sales that had already made.
This amounts to tens of thousands of dollars from not only purchases made in the Gunsite Pro Shop – including hats, shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs – but also money that had been paid for classes taken on gun safety and marksmanship.
Yes, you read that right. Tens of thousands of dollars in sales of products and classes, paid for in good faith, that Intuit has refused to release. Instead, Intuit stated they would refund those monies to the credit card holders. That means revenue for everything from pens to five-day level 250 pistol courses had just became door prizes, provided free to people who had the benefit of the training and took home products, all courtesy of the Intuit’s largesse.
Ken Campbell is matter-of-fact about the issue: “It is their right in the republic to choose not to do business with us. In fact, I do not want to do business with them or any company that does not support the Second Amendment. The issue is their refusal to release our funds to us.”
Gunsite Academy is one of, if not the most respected firearms training academies in the country. If you’ve attended a class there, you know safety is their number one priority, which lends more than a slight a shade of irony to the situation. Intuit is intentionally hurting a business that’s actively working to promote and teach firearms safety.
Gunsite is now investing countless hours of time trying to track down purchasers and explain the situation so credit cards can be processed all over again. The most likely scenario is they will indeed lose thousands of dollars. Hopefully they’ll be able to recoup the bulk of the funds which were rightfully theirs that Intuit refused to turn process as agreed.
You can show your support by heading over to the Gunsite Academy website here and checking out the Pro Shop and class schedule. Their classes rock and their coffee mug is my favorite because it’s heavy and super-sized (what can I say, I’m a caffeine addict). Gunsite has returned to their prior credit card processing company, so sales will work as they should with funds going to Gunsite.
Intuit is headquartered in Mountain View, California, so their far-left attitude is less surprising even if it is utterly unprofessional (not to mention un-American). Intuit’s financial reach includes TurboTax, Mint, QuickBooks Self-Employed, QuickBooks, and a variety of payroll and credit card processing services, so you may be doing business with them and not even know it.
Author’s Note: If you attended Gunsite Academy in the past thirty days or purchased something from their Pro Shop, whether in person or online, please contact Susan Davidson, the Pro Shop Manager, at [email protected] or Rikki Newell, the Student Coordinator, at [email protected]. Thank you!
UPDATE: I’ve received a couple emails from Intuit as follows:
“While our policy is to not discuss specific customer information or scenarios, I can confirm that Intuit Payment Solutions helps small business customer process electronic payments. There are some types of businesses and transaction types that Intuit cannot process in light of rules imposed by our banking partners, and among those are firearms and weapons sales that are not face-to-face sales. In-person sales of firearms and weapons are not prohibited.”
Then, a couple hours later:
“I read your story online. To be clear, In-person sales of firearms and weapons are permitted under our payment guidelines. Our full policy for our merchants is located here: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/payments/legal/
I’m checking into the other charges not related to online gun sales.”
Author’s note (again): I replied to the second email and explained how firearms purchases work, letting Intuit know all buyers must complete a 4473 and pass a background check and firearms are NOT simply shipped to a private residence, only to FFLs. Gunsite already tried to explain this process to an employee at Intuit but I thought I would try one more time. We’ll see what they say.