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Citibank forces gun withdrawal

Posted By Jon Dougherty On 02/19/2000 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled

A new corporate policy at Citibank, one
of the largest corporate banks in the world, prohibits “maintaining
accounts for businesses that deal in weapons,” according to a letter
sent from the Las Vegas branch of Citibank to a local pistol club owner.

The letter, dated Feb. 7, said the Nevada Pistol Academy would be
forbidden from doing business at the Citibank branch as of Thursday,
Feb. 17. The “Notice of Account Closure” said the bank was closing the
academy’s checking account and instructed account holders to refrain
from making further deposits or writing checks on the account.

After the closing date, “any additional funds remaining in your
account on the date of closure will be sent to you in the form of an
official bank check,” the letter said. Bank officials provided a
customer service number for the account holders “if you have any
questions regarding our decision to close your account.”

Chris Lorenzo, director of the academy, said he received the bank’s
letter “within 3 or 4 days of opening my account.” He told WorldNetDaily
that no one at the bank informed him of Citibank’s policy when he opened
his account.

When he called to ask about the cancellation, “they gave me the
runaround,” he said. WorldNetDaily placed several calls to Citibank
officials with no response.

Lorenzo said that while he felt the “bank was entitled to its own
opinion,” he just felt “other shooters might want to know this
information.”

As a result, Lorenzo said he contacted the National Rifle Association
who, he said, is looking into the legalities of the case. His NRA
contact, Chris Oswald, was out of the office for the weekend when
WorldNetDaily contacted the NRA late Friday afternoon.

Chris Stark, director of the Texas Gun Owners Alliance, called the action an “outrage,” and said it
fell “under the category of unlawful restraint of trade.”

“For Citibank to operate in this manner is a violation of common and
ethical business practices and is discriminatory,” he added.

The full text of Citibank’s letter follows:

Citibank (Nevada) N.A.

4065 South Jones Boulevard

Las Vegas, NV 89103

Tel 702/364-2061

February 7, 2000

Nevada Pistol Academy

4610 Blue Diamond Road

Las Vegas, NV 89139

CUSTOMER NOTICE: ACCOUNT CLOSURE

Account Number: (removed for privacy)

Your Citibank checking account will be closed ten calendar days from
the date of this notice. This action is necessary due to Citibank not
maintaining accounts for businesses that deal in weapons.

Deposits to this account will not be accepted as of three business
days from the date of this notice. Please refrain from writing
additional checks on this account.

Checks presented for payment will be honored until your account is
closed if sufficient funds are available. Any additional funds
remaining in your account on the date of closure will be sent to you in
the form of an official bank check.

If you have any questions regarding our decision to close your
account, please contact our 24 hour customer service telephone number,
800-756-7047 or Text Tel/TTD 800-756-0382.


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