A former Congressman and United States Attorney wrote an opinion piece for the Daily Caller on Tuesday expressing alarm about the increasing levels of surveillance that banks are carrying out on gun owners.
Former Representative Bob Barr (R-Ga.) said that banks are increasing their surveillance on gun owners so that they can close down the bank accounts of people who are buying too many guns or too much ammunition.
Barr said that powers given to banks under the PATRIOT Act and other post 9/11 legislation were meant to conduct surveillance on terrorists in foreign countries, but they are now being used to conduct surveillance on American citizens lawfully exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.
With an increase in ‘red flag’ laws that would allow citizens guns to be confiscated without probable cause, Barr said that the next logical step is for banks to freeze gun-owners bank accounts using a similar justification.
The Daily Caller Reports–
For more than half-a-century, Uncle Sam has been giving banks the legal tools to snoop into the otherwise-private affairs of their customers. Now, they are monitoring the exercise of their Second Amendment rights.
Thanks to a recent move by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO, headquartered in Switzerland), U.S. banks are starting to build databases on their customers’ purchases of firearms and ammunition. And, of course, they are ready and quite willing to share that information with federal law enforcement in the name of providing a public service to identify “mass shooters.”
This invasion of privacy began in earnest with enactment of the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970, which mandated that banks assist federal law enforcement in uncovering, investigating, and ultimately prosecuting violations of federal law.
It probably won’t be long before your friendly hometown bank will be filing even more secret Suspicious Activity Reports with the feds, or simply closing down your account if it decides you are buying too many guns or too much ammunition.