Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis on Wednesday denounced the nation’s biggest credit-card companies for putting gun owners on a “watchlist,” and added that he would work with state lawmakers to penalize any company that seeks to curtail Floridians’ Second Amendment rights.
According to a press release issued by his office, Patronis was responding to recent media reports about Visa, Mastercard, and American Express saying they would implement a special code to track gun and ammunition sales.
As The Free Press reported earlier this month, the companies made the move after being lobbied by New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, both of whom are Democrats.
The left-wing attorneys general maintain using such codes could help identify suspicious activity signaling a potential mass shooting or gun-trafficking operation.
Patronis noted that the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld a Texas law that stated major corporations, including financial institutions, have no right to limit Americans’ constitutional rights.
Said Patronis, “The Second Amendment is foundational to our American way of life. The idea that law-abiding Americans would be put on some kind of corporate watchlist is disturbing. Our rights come from our Creator, not the government, and especially not big corporations.”
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“It is clear that the actions by these credit card companies are part of a larger effort to curtail God-given constitutional rights of Americans. It is also symptomatic of the virus known as ESG [Environmental, Social, and Government], which is part of a global effort to socially re-engineer the country that we love so much. There is no way we are going to allow that to happen in the free state of Florida.”
ESG policies have become a way for woke investors to measure a firm’s commitment to social justice and green environmentalist initiatives.
“If we come to the legislative session and companies like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are generating these reports to create a chilling effect against the purchase of firearms, then I’ll work with the Legislature to pass a law penalizing businesses who are targeting the right to bear arms,” Patronis added.
“We’ve seen a groundbreaking ruling come out of the Fifth Circuit limiting corporations’ ability to curtail American’s constitutional rights, so we are on solid legal footing to pursue a bill protecting Floridians 2nd Amendment Rights.”
“We can also take it a step further by barring these companies from doing any business with the State of Florida,” he continued.
“We will send a message out to these large corporations that if you are interested in doing business with Florida, you need to make sure that you’re protecting Floridians’ right to arm and defend themselves.”