We’ve had a major win for at least one dealer who has been fighting prejudice from big business.   Plus, we’ve got a big thank you to the ANZ for righting a wrong.

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Dealer’s open letter on big business

JO AND MATTHEW BARTON, who run Range and Field, a small dealership in the Adelaide Hills, have posted an open letter calling for and end to unfair treatment of those in the firearms trade by banks, EFTPOS providers and social media platforms.

It follows their first hand experience in simply trying to run a legitimate business.

Here is what they posted (click the image for a PDF version of the letter)

Dealer letter

Familiar themes from big business

While the issue of “debanking” dealers and the way social media platforms treat them is not new, it is a reminder these issues are far from resolved.

PR podcast image - dealer

In this case, a branch of the ANZ refused to open an account in the dealer’s name because the business involved firearms.  

This is certainly not the first time this issue came up.

In 2020, the NAB closed accounts of dealers before later apologising for the conduct. 

A review of the Banking Code of Practice by the Australian Banking Association in 2021 considered, but did not end up addressing, this matter.

It means the ABA considers discriminating against specific parts of the community for no verifiable reason, acceptable. 

It means the only way this policy can be changed is with the support of our federal politicians.

Similarly, Facebook has closed this dealer’s pages and Square has refused to provide merchant facilities.

ANZ changes tune: it’s a win!

We recorded an interview with Jo about this matter that was originally scheduled to be aired in mid February.

Before that date, we contacted the ANZ HQ (in Adelaide) to seek their comment – and they quickly changed their position.

A senior manager at the ANZ advised Jo that what she was told by their local branch was “not ANZ’s policy at all” and “that [their] business is welcome”. 

The manager said they would ‘educate’ the local branch and even provide them with an EFTPOS machine – which gets around the problem created by Square.

What a win!!!

.. and a big thank you to ANZ for responding the way it did.

The interview (which you can hear though the link at the start of this article) has now been updated to reflect this change of heart.

Facebook’s policy on dealers

The treatment by Facebook is also interesting.

That’s because their own policy permits firearm dealers to engage in normal commercial activities

Facebook - dealer

Yet in this case, they have been taking Range and Field’s posts down, and even their page which is typical of what you see from dealers.


Square’s strange list

SQUARE’S treatment is mystifying.   Their list of ‘prohibited goods and services’ lists:

Sales of (i) firearms, firearm parts or hardware, and ammunition; or (ii) weapons and other devices designed to cause physical injury

However, they also list a wide range of other legitimate businesses that other providers would not discriminate against.

The list that Square won’t provide point of sale facilities for include ‘automated fuel dispensers’, betting, direct marketing and even prepaid insurance.

Why a business would take it upon itself to limit it’s reach this way is unclear.

Other businesses

These businesses are not alone.  Other businesses which have, at some point in time, discriminated against our industry include United Airlines, Hertz, Avis, Levis, Ben and Jerrys, Bank of Queensland, Bank Australia and QBE.

Risks from dealers

The consensus by those taking a position against dealers seems to be that they perceive there is some sort of commercial or political risk to them. 

Yet, as every shooter knows, every one involved in the shooting industry is heavily regulated. In fact, the regulators are the police who have made judgements on the licence holder being ‘fit and proper’ to do what they do. They can easily remove those licences if they need to.

These controls extend to the manufacture of firearms, the movement of firearms, acquisition and disposal of firearms – even where you can use firearms. Plus, imports are subject to AG approval.

In other words, there is no risk to these businesses. If anything, this scrutiny should provide businesses with guarantees about their customers that aren’t available elsewhere.

Backing dealers also makes good commercial sense. The shooting industry is worth some $3b per annum, so if there is a bank looking to expand it’s business, then this is an obvious candidate.

Dealer’s offensive logo …

AMONG the complaints made to the Bartons by Facebook was that their business logo was ‘offensive’.  

Dealer logo

Here is their logo. As you can see, it’s typical of what you will find throughout the industry.

The way forward for dealers

There is no doubt we will continue to expose behaviour like this.  The Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia covered the same issue previously, with the same result.

IF BUSINESSES WON’T CHANGE their ways, then that means the only real option available to dealers is for them to get political so that we can have better laws to protect against this behaviour.

Whether that action is through dealer associations, ourselves, or by them taking their own actions locally, is up to them – but whatever they do, it is imperative that whoever they entrust, has the right political skills.  

Letter writing, meeting with politicians will get the message to them – but may still not translate to the results that dealers need. 

Here’s one thing every dealer can do

EVERY dealer needs to meet with their local MP and let them know that they need their support, and you are prepared to get involved in the election process to get that support.

The job of an MP is to represent their electorate, however they are often only comfortable following the “party line” on matters.  That is where you need to make a stand.

If that means offering to hand out How-To-Vote for their opponents, or joining the branch of the local party to make your point at branch meetings, then so be it.

.. but something has to happen. Otherwise the problem will be here tomorrow, next year, next decade – and it could get worse.

The win with the ANZ bank shows that change is possible – but it’s up to us to drive it.

A good reason to back our work

This is a solid win for the shooting industry that came about from our interview, and approach to the ANZ.   That’s why we’re encouraging shooters and dealers who are fed up with bad treatment, to back our work.


Why not put this on your club’s noticeboard? 



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Hugh Jwang

The problem being faced here is generally nothing to do with corporate policy but some meathead with a personal view where they have convinced themselves that something is ‘dangerous’ because they-themselves have never seen a need for it in their personal lives – so nobody else must need it either.
It’s about time the Cancel Culture was turned around on these clowns such that their image is displayed in public as being a bona-fide cretin with no consideration for anything that anyone else wants to do with their life.
The attitude is typical of the left-leaning moonbat who predominantly knows all there is to know about the world from the A-B-Commie-C News.

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