Hobbs vetoes bill targeting banks that refuse to work with gun makers, NRA
Gov. Katie Hobbs vetoed a bill Tuesday that would have barred the state from working with any firm that “discriminates” against gun manufacturers or the National Rifle Association, a proposal that mirrored a Texas law passed last year.
Senate Bill 1096, by Sen. Frank Carroll, R-Sun City West, was nearly identical to a bill passed in Texas which sought to go after banks that, in the wake of mass shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead, began distancing themselves from the firearms industry and refusing to work with gun-makers and other entities.
The Texas law has had major repercussions for the state, as JPMorgan underwrote a large number of the state’s bond deals, and it was now illegal for the state to work with the financial industry titan. Now, billions of dollars in bonds are up in the air and it is estimated to have cost Texas taxpayers between $300 million and $500 million in interest.
In her veto letter, Hobbs said she feared the legislation would result in banks fleeing Arizona.
“This bill is unnecessary, and, if enacted, could result in banks leaving Arizona’s market,” Hobbs wrote. “This would limit competition and increase costs for local governments, costs which ultimately fall on taxpayers.”
Hobbs’ concerns were echoed by the Arizona Association of Counties and the Arizona Bankers Association earlier this month when lawmakers considered the measure. A lobbyist for the National Shooting Sports Foundation said that firearm companies are adversely impacted by banks making “risk management” decisions to not work with certain firearm manufacturers.
“I once again urge the legislature to focus on providing real solutions to real challenges faced by our state,” Hobbs said in her veto letter.
Carroll attempted to pass similar legislation last session, but the bill was never heard by the Senate.
This report was first published by the Arizona Mirror.