Today, Everytown for Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action, and Students Demand Action applauded the introduction of the Preventing Gun Violence Through Financial Intelligence Act by Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) and Reps. Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Jennifer Wexton (D-VA).
The bill would require the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) at the Department of Treasury to develop an advisory that would provide guidance to banks on how to detect and report suspicious activity related to how mass shooters procure the firearms and firearm accessories used in acts of terrorism, and the ways that gaps in the U.S. firearms market are criminally exploited to facilitate gun violence in America.
“Just as banks and financial institutions have used their sophisticated modeling tools to identify fentanyl tracking, they should be using the same tools to help address another public health crisis: gun violence,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “We applaud Representatives Dean and Wexton, as well as Senator Markey, for introducing legislation to make sure banks are doing their part and reporting suspicious activity related to firearms, which will help prevent gun violence before it happens.”
“When it comes to preventing gun violence and saving lives, we need to be using every tool at our disposal, including helping financial institutions to spot potential warning signs and take action before it’s too late,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “We are proud to support this effort by Senator Markey and Representatives Dean and Wexton to help guide financial institutions through the ways that the U.S. firearms market is criminally exploited to facilitate gun violence in America.”
In the past, perpetrators of mass shootings have run up massive credit card totals purchasing stockpiles of firearms and firearms accessories to be used in acts of domestic terrorism. This bill would require FinCEN to collect and analyze financial data in order to identify the types of suspicious financial activity that may indicate a future mass shooting or domestic terrorist attack.
The bill requires that after one year of gathering such data, FinCEN produces either an advisory to help banks report suspicious activity to the Treasury Department or a report to Congress detailing its findings. Everytown’s fact sheet on the bill from the last Congress can be found here.