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Arizona House bill hits banks that refuse gun firm business

PHOENIX (AP) – A United States (US) bill to prohibit government agencies from contracting with firms that refuse to do business with firearms companies received strong support this week from majority Republicans on an Arizona House committee but generated tough criticism from the banking industry.

The proposal from Representative Frank Carroll would require companies doing business with the state or local governments to certify they won’t refuse to work with firearms-related companies.

Carroll and other supporters said some banks are refusing to do business with firms involved with the firearms industry. They framed it as an issue of preventing people from exercising their Second Amendment rights.

“Why would you not want to do business with a Second Amendment-related business?” Republican Representative Quang Nguyen asked a lobbyist for the banking industry during a Wednesday House Judiciary Committee hearing. “I feel that it’s more political.”

But bankers resisted the bill, calling it government overreach for lawmakers to try to force businesses to deal with other companies against their will and said lawmakers are creating a problem with a non-issue in Arizona.

“This seeks to have government interfere with those private businesses and come put their finger on the scale in support of a single industry,” said lobbyist for the Arizona Bankers Association Jay Kaprosy. “What this bill is asking you all to do is to pick winners and losers about what businesses in Arizona we’re going to favour and that’s where we have a problem with it.”

The blur of car lights zip past the Arizona Capitol as the dome is illuminated in Phoenix. PHOTO: AP