Following my two posts (linked below) about the Intuit imbroglio, I thought the following e-mail exchange between myself and Mr. Brad Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Intuit, might be of interest to my readers. It began a couple of days ago, when I e-mailed him concerning the situation at Gunsite.
Dear Mr. Smith,
I understand that your company has chosen to discriminate against Gunsite Academy in Arizona by denying them the use of your financial services. I might point out that Gunsite Academy is involved in training some of America's finest military personnel and first responders. I speak as a retired military officer and Chaplain, who is well aware of the excellence of Gunsite Academy's offerings.
You are, of course, free to adopt whatever policies you please as a corporation. However, so am I. Last month I formed a new company in Texas, Sedgefield Press, to act as a corporate vehicle for my writing activities. I have published over a dozen books so far, and according to Author Earnings' statistics, I rank within the top 1% (by earnings) of conventionally- and self-published writers in the United States.
I had discussed accounting software with our accountant, who recommended Quickbooks to me. However, following your decision to discriminate against Gunsite and similar institutions, I shall instead give my business to a company that does not discriminate against lawful commerce and industry for the sake of political correctness. What's more, I shall advise my colleagues, fellow authors, and industry professionals to do likewise, for every product offered by Intuit.
You should be ashamed of yourselves for such blatant non-commercial discrimination. However, I suspect political correctness is more important to you than a sense of shame.
This morning, Mr. Smith replied, copying his e-mail to several other individuals at Intuit, whom I presume are legal representatives or account managers.
Thank you for reaching out and sharing your point of view. There seems to be some confusion about this situation, so I want to be very clear about our policy.
In-person sales of firearms are permitted under our payment guidelines. However, there are transactions that are prohibited by our partner bank and our own policy if they take place in situations other than face-to-face. Firearms sales that do not occur in a face-to-face transaction are one of those situations. With that said, in-person sales of firearms are not prohibited.
This policy is not new and has not changed. Our small business customers are made aware of these terms, and must agree to them, before they begin using our payments processing services.
I hope this helps clarify our position on the matter.
I have just replied, as follows.
Dear Mr. Smith,
You are misinformed, sir. No, I repeat, NO firearm transfers can take place between a buyer and a Federally licensed seller (such as Gunsite) UNLESS the legally required background check form has been filled out and signed, the purchaser's identity has been checked, the background check has taken place, and a NICS clearance number for the transaction has been issued. Mail-order firearms sales are no different. If I order a firearm from Gunsite (or any other dealer), they are not permitted to ship it directly to me. Instead, I must make arrangements with a licensed firearms dealer in my state. Gunsite will ship it to that dealer, who will conduct the background check required by law. Only when I have passed that check may I take delivery of the firearm from them (paying an additional fee for their work in processing the transaction).
I simply cannot believe that a large corporation such as Intuit, with its many legal representatives on staff, can be unaware of this legal requirement. I therefore find your explanation disingenuous, at best. Furthermore, your company's conduct w.r.t. the Lone Wolf - Flint River transaction, over and above the Gunsite imbroglio, implies that its fundamental philosophy is to make life as difficult as possible for its customers - those, at least, that it still has, and those probably not for long - in the firearms industry. I find it hard to believe that this is the result of pressure from "your partner bank", as financial institutions must surely be aware of the legal situation. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN OFF-THE-BOOKS, NON-FACE-TO-FACE FIREARMS TRANSFER when it comes to a Federally licensed dealer. To suggest that there is, is preposterous. If the face-to-face transfer does not take place at the originating dealer, it must and will take place at the transferring dealer in the buyer's home state. Anything less will result in Federal charges and prison time for those responsible, on both sides of the transaction. The same applies to a private seller. If the buyer is from another state, he or she must send the firearm to a dealer in that state to conduct a background check. Again, there will be severe consequences if this is not done.
In the light of your company's conduct, and its inexplicable refusal to give an honest, timely, truthful explanation to its customers of its actions and motives, I have publicly called for a boycott of Intuit and all its products and services. I see no reason at this time to retract or modify that call. You will find my comments on your company's actions at the following blog posts:
I have every hope that my several thousand daily readers will understand and respond to that call. You will also find - a quick Internet search will reveal - that I'm far from alone in my reaction to your company's unbelievably inept handling of these situations.
I shall post your response, and my reply, on my blog later today, so that my readers can make up their own minds.
I leave you, dear readers, to make up your own minds. If you wish to contact Mr. Smith for clarification, his e-mail address (available publicly on Intuit's Web site, so I'm not doxxing him in any way) is firstname.lastname@example.org . If you would like to know about excellent alternatives to Quickbooks for small business accounting software, see my article here.