H.R. 5132 would help banks to detect and report suspicious activity related to mass shootings or criminal firearms activity.
H.R. 5132 would require FinCEN 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 their acts of terrorism, and
- the ways that the U.S. firearms market is criminally exploited to facilitate gun violence in America.
Reporting has been done on how mass shooters have relied on credit cards to stockpile the weapons used in their acts of domestic terrorism, but more information is needed. H.R. 132 would require FinCEN to collect and analyze the financial data of banks in order to identify the types of suspicious financial activity that may preclude a mass shooting or domestic terrorist attack.
If after one year FinCEN does not have enough data to develop an advisory, H.R. 5132 would require FinCEN to submit a report to Congress detailing the information collected and why it was insufficient.
Banks already have a legal obligation to detect and report suspicious activity to FinCEN.
U.S. banks are required by federal law to have programs in place to detect suspicious financial activity and submit Suspicious Activity Reports when they detect a known or suspected violation of federal law or a suspicious transaction related to money laundering, fraud, or terrorist financing.
FinCEN periodically issues advisories to assist banks with suspicious activity reporting. These advisories provide guidance to banks on certain threats or activities and provide financial indicators that banks can use to detect such threats or activities. Banks may use these advisories to improve or enhance their suspicious activity reporting. Recent FinCEN advisories include ways for banks to identify human smuggling and spotting methods related to trafficking fentanyl.
An advisory is not a formal regulation or rule making, rather it is interpretive guidance concerning the application of the Bank Secrecy Act and the anti-money laundering regulations. FinCEN advisories do not create new regulatory obligations.