Gun industry urges Congress to step in after Intuit debacle

The gun industry’s largest trade association hopes Congress will intervene after an Intuit payment policy left an Arizona dealer unpaid for sales made at his store.

Larry Keane, vice president of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, told Thursday the credit processing company went too far when it reversed charges for items sold at gun-related stores — including t-shirts, coffee mugs and, in one case, a gun safety class.

Ken Campbell, chief operating officer of Gunsite Academy in Paulden, Arizona, said Intuit also took issue with one of the store’s gun sales, despite his assurance the firearm would be transferred via a federally licensed firearm dealer near the customer’s home.

“Gunsite spent untold man hours contacting clients, explaining the situation with Intuit, and asking for repayment since their payments were refunded to them,” the company said in a statement Thursday. “There were also untold staff hours, including consultants, to locate a new processing company that is pro-gun.”

Heather Mclellan, an Intuit spokeswoman, told Tuesday a long-standing financial safety policy with the company’s banking partner requires certain transactions occur face-to-face. “When transactions are ‘keyed in’ by the vendor – including online and over the phone – Intuit cannot verify that the customer was present,” she said.

“All of our customers agree to these terms when they sign on to use our services,” Mclellan continued. “When a customer of ours is unable or unwilling to meet this commitment, we reach out to them directly to explore a solution to the problem or to transition them off of our service.”

Keane disputed Intuit’s reasoning, claiming the company’s banking partner wasn’t to blame. He said NSSF contacted the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affair for legislative recourse in the weeks after Intuit refunded customers for purchases made at Gunsite Academy.

“What if they don’t want to take charges for gasoline because of global warming? Or soda because it causes obesity? There is no end to it,” Keane said.

Lawmakers appear willing to step in, Keane said — especially after months of corporate backlash against the gun industry in the wake of the Parkland shooting. He described conversations between committee members and the NSSF as “positive.”

In the meantime, Gunsite said Intuit offered to reimburse the store for its losses. “This offer was made in good faith and not in response to threats of litigation, etc,” Gunsite said. “They explained they were trying to make things right.”

Intuit admitted reversing the charges “caused an inconvenience” for its affected customers and said it was evaluating its current practices to ensure “a better experience in the future.”

“Intuit as a company respects and abides by the laws in all the countries where we conduct business,” Mclellan said. “As an American company, we respect the US Constitution and all the rights contained in it. Nothing about this matter changes our commitment to this core principle of our company.”

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