South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem paused Friday during an impassioned defense of the Second Amendment to prove her commitment was more than just words.
During an appearance at the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action Leadership Forum, Noem signed an executive order taking aim at banks that discriminate against the firearm industry.
Noem’s order bars state agencies from contracting with large banks that are found to have engaged in discrimination against “firearm-related entities.” Those entities include firearm trade associations, shooting ranges and businesses that manufacture or sell firearms, ammunition or firearm accessories.
Noem said that discrimination has taken the form of terminating relationships or refusing to work with certain businesses.
“This Executive Order will protect the God-given right to keep and bear arms from being infringed upon by financial institutions,” Noem said in a statement. “South Dakota is setting the standard for the most 2nd Amendment friendly state in the nation.
“But it’s not just the media and big government that are attacking our rights. Now, we have seen banking institutions go after law-abiding gun owners. Well, not on my watch. I won’t stand for it, not in South Dakota,” she said.
“Governor Noem’s Executive Order is a significant bulwark against the ‘woke’ discrimination that threatened firearm businesses in South Dakota,” Lawrence G. Keane, senior vice president of the National Shooting Sports Federation, said in a statement.
“Governor Noem’s order is clear. The Second Amendment isn’t for sale in South Dakota.”
According to the Argus Leader, two bills were proposed last year to address large banks that do not lend to gun-related companies.
Brandon Maddox, owner of Silencer Central in Sioux Falls, said he was discriminated against by banks because he deals in firearm accessories.
In her remarks to the NRA-ILA, Noem noted that “we have seen banking institutions go after industries they disagree with … threatening to withhold funding, cancel loans, or holding them to a different standard than how the left is treated.”
“Why do the liberals and [President] Joe Biden want to take our guns? Because it will make it easier for them to then infringe on all other rights,” she said.