Rep. Cramer Signs Letter Urging End to Federal Contract With Citibank Due to Restrictions on Gun Sales

Kevin Cramer, surrounded by family and supporters, accepts the ND Republican endorsement for the US Senate Saturday, April 7, at the ND Republican convention. (Eric Hylden / Forum News Service)

“Citigroup Inc (C.N) added restrictions on firearms sales for new retail-sector clients, the Wall Street bank said on Thursday, the strongest move to date by a major U.S. lender following last month’s high school shooting in Florida,” Reuters reported last month.

Here’s what the bank is doing specifically:

In an emailed statement Citi said it will require those clients only sell firearms to customers who have passed a background check, restrict firearms sales for buyers under 21, and not sell so-called “bump stocks” or high-capacity magazines.

In response Congressman Kevin Cramer announced last week that he had signed a letter to the General Services Administration asking the agency to cancel a $700 billion contract with the bank to administer a federal charge card program.

Cramer and his co-signers on the letter argue that a bank which discriminates against gun rights doesn’t deserve the federal government’s business:

I’m not a fan of boycott politics, but can conservatives afford to have that sort of attitude when left wing activists routinely use social media mob campaigns to bully private businesses into doing their bidding?

Must we fight fire with fire?

Perhaps we, as private citizens, should. But this letter is a step even beyond that. This is Congress, or at least a faction thereof, calling for a private business to be denied a contract because of the political decisions of that business.

Where does that road lead? Can Democratic members of Congress deny federal contracts to a company run by Christians with socially conservative views? Will we one day see federal contracts doled out, or denied, to companies based on the partisan alignment of their executives?

Are political litmus tests going to be the new norm for federal contracts?

I’m all for standing up for gun rights. I abhor Citi’s decision to try and inhibit lawful commerce in the firearms industry. But I’m not sure this is the right way to fight that fight.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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