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The rapid decline of Saturday Night Live was on full display once again as the late-night comedy show keeps demonstrating it has no relevance to real America. Colin Jost’s attempted joke about “de-banking,” and the audience’s full-throated laughter at it, showed both the Weekend Update host doesn’t understand what’s going on in the country and the live audience is living in the same alternate reality, too.

De-banking has been happening for years as major banking, lending and financial institutions penalize and suffocate lawful American businesses and their customers simply because they operate in a politically disfavored – yet completely lawful – industry. This includes the firearm industry specifically, and current events suggest Jost might just become much more familiar with the term soon as law-abiding Americans might have the last laugh.

De-Bank Debunk

Jost co-hosts the Weekend Update segment during SNL where he attempts to crack jokes about current events and the news. During last Saturday’s episode, Jost took aim at former President Donald Trump for saying something he incorrectly thought was made up.

“Trump did have a slight stumble this week while talking about banks, and he introduced an interesting new term called de-bank,” Jost said. “I don’t know what the hell de-bank means, but you might have to take ‘de-ambulance’ to see ‘de-doctor.’”

Jost’s joke is objectively lame and came after he played a short video of the former president speaking on the campaign stump. The president said, “We’re also going to place strong protections to stop banks and regulators from trying to de-bank you.”

To be fair, if Jost’s sole source of news comes from media outlets like The New York Times or other left-leaning or mainstream media outlets, it wouldn’t be surprising that he’s unaware of what de-banking is or for how long it’s gone on. The New York Times proposed using credit cards and banks against gun owners and businesses. Those same media outlets tend to support gun control efforts and the political officials and administrations that push for more gun restrictions. They also refuse to acknowledge any problems experienced by the lawful and highly-regulated firearm industry in their attempts to serve law-abiding customers exercising their Second Amendment rights.

Following the weekend’s show, SNL was roundly mocked for the out-of-touch joke. According to Fox News, commentator Steve Guest posted on X, formerly Twitter, “The woke smugness of SNL is out of control.” X user Doug Powers chimed in as well, saying, “SNL’s in such a hurry to dunk on Trump that they made themselves look like idiots again,” and posting a picture of the definition of de-bank. Several others made similar statements pointing out the absurdity of the attempted joke.

Long History

During the past several years, gun control advocates sought to advance their political agenda by subverting legislative bodies and pressuring corporate financial institutions to adopt “environmental, social and governance” (ESG) policies that discriminate against members of the firearm industry. SNL’s Jost is definitely unaware of just how long this financial discrimination has been occurring.

During President Barack Obama’s time in The White House, the administration created “Operation Choke Point” (OCP), a government-led effort to use the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Department of Justice (DOJ) to penalize and suffocate financial institutions that extended essential banking services to the already highly-regulated industries like the oil and gas industry, as well as firearm industry. The goal was to coerce banks, third-party payment processors and other financial institutions into closing or denying business accounts of clients that the FDIC classified as “high risk” or as a “reputational risk.” The administration specifically included federal firearm licensees (FFLs) and other firearm and ammunition industry-related businesses. It was a troubling chapter in a new era of government abuse of power. NSSF, with Capitol Hill allies, successfully led the fight to force the Obama administration to halt official OCP activities.

However, while the FDIC indicated it would take steps to end the targeting of politically disfavored industries, including the firearm industry, the discrimination continues today. It has been privatized to the large corporate financial service providers which implement ESG policies that penalize many of the same businesses. Major financial institutions, including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and others, as well as Big Tech and social media companies, regularly penalize, refuse services and discriminate against businesses in the firearm industry.

In the meantime, legal, legitimate and highly-regulated businesses licensed by the federal government are still being choked off from the financial system, demonstrating the critical need for the adoption of Firearm Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act legislation in both the states and at by the federal government.

Firearm Industry Fighting Back

NSSF has worked closely within state legislatures to implement tough safeguards against this corporate boardroom gun control commonly seen today. In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott signed the FIND Act bill into law in 2021. As a result, major banks like Citigroup and JP Morgan Chase have lost out on several million dollars of municipal bond contracts because of their anti-firearm industry banking policies.

Since 2021, several states have adopted NSSF-supported FIND Act laws that bar state governments from entering into contracts with companies that benefit from taxpayer dollars while also instituting “woke” ESG and antigun discriminatory policies on those taxpayers. These include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming. Still several more states will consider their version of the FIND Act during 2024 legislative sessions.

On the federal level, NSSF fully supports H.R. 53, the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.). The bill has 115 co-sponsors and is vital to end the ability of corporate entities to profit from taxpayer-funded federal contracts while discriminating against a Constitutionally-protected industry at the same time. Across the Capitol in the U.S. Senate, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) introduced the companion legislation, S. 428, and the bill has 17 cosponsors in the upper chamber.

Additionally, Sen. Kevin Cramer (R-S.D.) introduced S. 293, the Fair Access to Banking Act, to end the discriminatory lending practices of major banking institutions that seek to circumvent the legislative process and set social policy from the boardroom. That bill has 36 cosponsors. In the House, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) introduced companion Fair Access to Banking Act legislation, H.R. 2743, to do the same.

Jost’s total ignorance about something that has been taking place for nearly two decades and impacting the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans isn’t surprising. He lives in a bubble. But de-banking is very real and very concerning, especially as millions of Americans turn to the Second Amendment and attempt to buy firearms for the first time.

It won’t be so funny when those law-abiding Americans are denied that right because their bank has shut down the credit card processing service and de-banked the firearm retailer where they are trying to purchase their gun.

Article by Larry Keane


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