Landry Calls for JPMorgan Chase Firearms Policy Ahead of Louisiana Bond Commission Meeting |
(The Center Square) – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry is asking JPMorgan Chase for information related to the Second Amendment that could jeopardize the banking giant’s position with the State Bond Commission.
The bond commission examines requests from parishes, municipalities and other political subdivisions to incur debt or raise taxes, often to finance public construction projects.
JPMorgan Chase is one of eight banks selected by the bond commission to serve as the senior underwriter for major financial transactions. According to Landry, a member of the bond commission, the New York-based financial institution has been involved in two transactions since February 2020, totaling up to $ 1.1 billion.
As part of the selection process, a solicitation document (SFO) includes a question asking banks about any policies that may restrict or infringe constitutionally protected gun rights or discriminate against Louisianans who exercise these rights.
JPMorgan Chase said he doesn’t have one.
In a letter sent last week to Jamie Dimon, the bank’s president and CEO, Landry cited Dimon’s testimony to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee in May that might suggest otherwise.
“In this testimony you stated the following in response to a question from Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.): ‘We do not fund the manufacture of military style weapons for civilian use,'” Landry wrote. .
Landry also said the response “called into question your ability to do business in multiple states, including Louisiana.”
The remark referred to a potential violation of Texas state law, where a newly enacted law prohibits companies with more than 10 employees from discriminating against “a firearms entity or firearms trade association. If companies seek to work with a government entity.
The SFO bond commission, dated December 2019, included a provision stating that the state reserved the right to terminate a business relationship with any licensed financial institution if the business engaged in restrictive practices against citizens. abiding by the laws, which included “the right to buy and sell arms.”
The bond commission made national headlines in 2018 when committee members voted to disqualify Citibank and Bank of America as underwriters of a $ 600 million road financing plan, after banks passed restrictive firearms policies.
Banks changed course after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas School shooting in Florida in 2018, which left 17 students and staff dead. JPMorgan Chase did not join Citibank and Bank of America, even as pressure for gun control mounted in Congress.
Months before the Louisiana SFO, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, DN.Y., a senior member of the House Financial Services Committee, lobbied Dimon over JPMorgan Chase’s “$ 273 million loans to manufacturers military style firearms “.
Dimon defended the bank, saying it was acting responsibly.
“We have a very small relationship with the gun manufacturers,” he said. “There are over 100,000 retailers selling guns. Every person we do business with, we do a thorough review… and if we think they’re doing something wrong, our risk committee will stop doing business with them.
Landry’s recent request for “further certification” from the SFO seeks to determine whether the bank’s stance on firearms-related financial services has changed. The request also came a few days before the next bond commission meeting on Thursday.
The commission meets once a month and is made up of 14 members. In addition to Landry, members include Governor John Bel Edwards; the President of the State Senate, Cortez, R-Lafayette; Speaker of the State House Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales; and State Treasurer John Schroder.
In his letter to Dimon, Landry said he didn’t think the bond commission should engage in public affairs with an entity that “discriminates” against law-abiding citizens.
“While I respect the right, as a private company, to choose who you do business with, I don’t think the state of Louisiana is better served by doing business with companies that try to profit from it. ‘State while denying its citizens the possibility of exercising their constitutional rights,’ he said.