A freshman senator from Texas is trying to lure the banks that Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing to disinivest from gun manufacturers.
Last week, Emanuel sent letters to TD Bank and Bank of America, suggesting that they stop lending money to gun manufacturers that don’t support stricter gun laws. The Chicago Municipal Employees Annunity and Benefit Fund withdrew $1 million from three gun manufacturers -- Freedom Group, Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co. -- after Emanuel ordered a review of the city’s investments.
So Sen. Ted Cruz also wrote a letter to the banks -- inviting them to move some of their business from Chicago to Texas. (Bank of America is the largest bank in the Chicago area, with 197 branches, and sponsors the Chicago Marathon.)
Here’s the text of Cruz’s letter. (Note: Cruz is incorrect when he writes that the city paid $1.1 million in legal fees as a result of Emanuel’s “assault on the Second Amendment.” Those fees were associated with McDonald v. Chicago, which was argued when Richard M. Daley was mayor.)
To the CEOs of Bank of America and TD Bank Group, it has recently been reported that Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel sent each of you letters urging the threatened to cease transacting business with American firearm manufacturers Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co.
Both of your companies do considerable business in the City of Chicago, and you may be understandably concerned that there are risks to refusing to comply with the demands of a politician who has earned the nickname, “the Godfather.”
In Texas, we have a more modest view government.
We do not accept the notion that government officials should behave as bullies, trying to harass or pressure private companies into enlisting in a political lobbying campaign. And we subscribe to the notion, quite in some quarters, that private companies don’t work for elected officials; elected officials work for private citizens.
In light of the reception you have received in the Windy City, please know that Texas would certainly welcome more of your business and the jobs you create. Texans value jobs and value freedom, and over 1000 people a day are moving to Texas (often from cities like Chicago), because Texas is where the jobs are.
If I can be of any assistance in that regard, please do not hesitate to call.
To the CEOs of Smith & Wesson and Sturm, Ruger & Co., on behalf of millions of Texans and gun owners across America, thank you for your commitment to the Second Amendment. It is unfortunate that ambitious politicians would try to impose financial harm or even drive your companies out of business in order to further their own political agendas.
The reported missives of Mayor Emanuel—who was President Obama’s very first Chief of Staff—call into doubt the claims of President Obama and Washington Democrats said they do not seek to strip Americans of our Second Amendment rights.
Attempts to put law-abiding gun makers out of business hardly qualify as “modest common sense gun control.” Instead, they are a manifestation of an unabashed agenda to deprive law-abiding citizens of our right to keep and bear arms.
Should Mayor Emanuel’s bullying campaign prove successful, I am confident that there are numerous financial institutions in Texas that would be eager to earn your business. And, in the event that it might prove helpful, I would be happy to personally introduce you to their leaders.
Finally, to Mayor Emanuel, you were recently obliged to pay over $1.1 million in taxpayer money in legal fees did your unsuccessful assault on the Second Amendment. And, your city’s long-standing policies stripping citizens of their constitutional right to keep and bear arms have, in turn, produced some of the very highest crime and murder rates in the nation.
Your continued anti-gun crusade may well cause some to wonder if the interests of the citizens of Chicago are being sacrificed in the pursuit of a partisan agenda.
Regardless, directing your attack at legitimate firearms manufacturers undermines the Second Amendment rights of millions of Texans. In the future, I would ask you may keep your efforts to diminish the Bill of Rights north of the Red River.
All the best,