By Kat Ainsworth via TTAG
In mid-May we were the first to break the news of Intuit’s poor treatment of Gunsite Academy. Today we have an update, one that’s both surprising and validating to the importance of fighting for our Second Amendment rights in all facets of our lives and business practices.
On May 18, I reported the following:
A couple months ago Gunsite decided to make a change to a new credit card processor, QuickBooks. Ten days ago the Gunsite bookkeeper found herself on the receiving end of a phone call from QuickBooks. QuickBooks felt there was “trouble” because they realized Gunsite sold knives and guns on their website. This, the QuickBooks rep said, meant sales weren’t face to face and “kids could buy them”. Gunsite took the time to patiently, politely educate the rep on how FFLs work and explain the laws and processes of these sales. Once it was laid out the rep backpedaled, saying it was all right after all.
Then, a week ago – May 11th, 2018 – Gunsite received another call from QuickBooks. This time, QuickBooks/Intuit informed them, they were immediately ceasing to do business with Gunsite. At first blush this was frustrating news, but it could be handled. Then came the other piece of news: in addition to cutting business ties with Gunsite because they sell firearms, QuickBooks/Intuit refused to release the money they were currently processing from sales already made. Sales made at Gunsite in the period QuickBooks controlled the academy’s credit card sales amounted to tens of thousands of dollars from not only purchases made in the Pro Shop – including hats, shirts, bumper stickers, and coffee mugs – but also money paid for classes taken on gun safety and marksmanship.
Yes, you read that right. Tens of thousands of dollars in sales of products and classes, and Intuit refused to release money rightfully belonging to Gunsite to them. Instead, Intuit stated they would refund those monies to the credit card holders.
Thus began a back-and-forth between not only Gunsite and Intuit, but the entire firearmsindustry and the financial industry. The story immediately went viral, going from our piece here at TTAG to NRA TV.
TTAG readers and Gunsite alums began canceling their accounts with Intuit, first in a trickle, then a landslide. Stories of similar poor treatment at the hands of Intuit came out from Lone Wolf Distributors, Flint River Armory, and Honor Defense.
We, as an industry, rallied. Today we have a victory.
Minutes ago, Ken Campbell, Gunsite Academy’s Chief Operating Officer, contacted me with an update of the Intuit situation. He then sent me the following statement:
Gunsite Academy, Inc. recently had issues with credit card processing company Intuit. Intuit suspended Gunsite’s account as Intuit does not believe firearms sales are made “face-to-face” and was in violation of their policy. Gunsite recognizes Intuit as a privately owned and operated company and can practice business as they wish. However, monies collected for services rendered (firearms safety and training as well as sales of items from shirts and coffee mugs to firearms) were returned to the customer and not processed through to Gunsite.
Gunsite spent untold man hours contacting clients, explaining the situation with Intuit, and asking for repayment since their payments were refunded to them. There were also untold staff hours, including consultants, to locate a new processing company that is pro-gun.
During this time, Intuit reached out to Gunsite Academy Inc. owner Owen Mills and Chief Operating Officer Ken Campbell. Intuit was polite and professional during the series of calls with their senior management. These calls were at Intuit’s request and they asked to be educated in how gun sales are done. The heavily regulated process was explained in detail to Intuit senior staff. We also invited them to Gunsite to have the experience first-hand. Also explained was Gunsite’s issues with the monies being returned to the customer as opposed to processed through to Gunsite and both companies walking away.
On Tuesday afternoon June 12, 2018, Intuit contacted Gunsite again and offered a fair compensation for the losses experienced by Gunsite Academy, Inc. for the many hours spent sorting this issue out. This offer was made in good faith and not in response to threats of litigation, etc. They explained they were trying to make things right with Gunsite.
Gunsite appreciates the remuneration made by Intuit to help defray our costs and more importantly we hope that the experience will help them better understand the firearms industry and how sales are made. The firearms industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries and the customer base must follow stringent federal and state regulations as all retail transactions are face-to-face, including a mandatory Federal NICS background check.
Thanks are also offered to the Gunsite customers and firearms industry partners for their patience and support during this time. The “Gunsite Family” and firearmsindustry were very supportive from “re-paying” their bills to contacting Intuit expressing their frustration and displeasure.
We look forward to having this issue behind us and refocusing our energies and efforts to continue to offer the best world class firearms and safety training.
Campbell tells me, “This was an unexpected turn of events. We hope this could be the beginning of a turnaround in the business attacks of the Second Amendment.”
Indeed. A victory for Gunsite Academy is a win for the industry at large. Keep fighting for our Second Amendment rights. When we band together we’re a force to be reckoned with. Together we make change happen. We need to keep at it.
Although this is a fantastic victory, it’s not the time to rest on our laurels. It’s time to step up our efforts. Our rights are worth it.