Intuit under intense fire after questionable treatment of gun-related companies

Intuit makes some fine products for those who run businesses, like QuickBooks, but the company has come under intense fire after the way it has reportedly treated at least three gun-related companies.

Earlier this month, Truth About Guns reported that the company actually reversed tens of thousands of dollars in credit card charges after it severed ties with Gunsite, a company founded by the late Col. Jeff Cooper in 1976 under the name American Pistol Institute.

According to Kat Ainsworth:

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About ten days ago the Gunsite bookkeeper found herself on the receiving end of a phone call from QuickBooks. The company  felt there was “trouble” because they had 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 firearm sales. Once the process and regulations were laid out, the rep backpedaled, saying now that they understood the procedure, it was alright after all and business could continue.

Then, a week ago – May 11th, 2018 – Gunsite got another phone call from QuickBooks. This time it didn’t go as well. The software company informed Gunsite that they were immediately ceasing all business with them. Why? Because they sell and promote firearms.

At first blush this was frustrating news, but Gunsite figured it could be handled. Then the other shoe dropped: in addition to cutting business ties with Gunsite, QuickBooks/Intuit refused to release the money from credit card charges currently in process from sales that had already made.

“Folks, this is tens of thousands of dollars worth of training and merchandise that was charged and processed in good faith. Gunsite did nothing wrong, but Intuit is reversing these charges, meaning they’re basically giving everyone a refund out of someone else’s pocket. The reason? Because it finds that company’s business icky,” Tom Knighton wrote at Bearing Arms.

Ainsworth summed it up this way: “That means revenue for everything from pens to five-day level 250 pistol courses had just became door prizes, provided free to people who had the benefit of the training and took home products, all courtesy of the Intuit’s largesse.”

Gunsite is trying to process this stuff through another company, so hopefully, they can recover most, if not all of the money owed them.

But Gunsite isn’t the only company that has issues with Intuit.

On Tuesday, Ainsworth reported:

Yesterday, I spent time on the phone with Rob Hansel of Lone Wolf Distributors and John Heikkinen of Flint River Armory. The two companies sometimes do business together and recently had a rather large transaction go awry as a result of Intuit QuickBooks’ apparent anti-gun policy. The conversations were both interesting and enlightening, the latter because these issues highlight ongoing business practices with dishonest undertones on the part of Intuit.

On May 11th, Lone Wolf made two of what would be three transfers to Flint River. On May 14th they completed the third transfer. The transfers were made through Intuit’s QuickBooks merchant services; Flint River Armory had a merchant account for the purpose of credit card and ACH payment processing. At the time of the transaction, Flint River’s QuickBooks merchant account had been in place for around six weeks. According to Intuit’s own marketing blurb, merchants can use QuickBooks “to get paid 2x faster” – or not.

The transfer in question wasn’t for firearms, it was a separate business transaction. I’ll state that again: it had nothing to do with either components or complete firearms. The total amount of the three transfers: $150,000.

Intuit withdrew the money within 30 minutes, Ainsworth said.

“In accordance with standard business practices, it should have been deposited into Flint River’s account with relative speed. Instead, there was no sign of a pending deposit. Instead Intuit abruptly terminated Flint River’s merchant account,” Ainsworth added.

After 15 phone calls, Flint River learned that Intuit had decided to sever ties with firearm companies.  Additionally, Intuit refused to provide any documentation of the transfer whatsoever.

“Meanwhile,” Ainsworth said, “$150,000 of Lone Wolf’s money was being held by Intuit. That meant Intuit was earning interest on $150,000 they claimed they didn’t want (because, guns, even though, again, the transaction wasn’t for firearms or components). While their exact interest rate is unknown and bank savings rates vary widely – Capitol One’s is 0.75% APY and Synchrony’s is 1.05% APY – the current Federal Reserve Funds rate is 1.75%.”

After additional calls, including one with the president of Intuit, the company finally agreed to return the funds, but, Ainsworth said, as of Tuesday, the money had not been returned.

Ainsworth further said:

Rob Hansel stated that although Lone Wolf has been using QuickBooks for accounting purposes, they are now actively searching for a replacement. John Heikkinen said Flint River has already replaced QuickBooks’ merchant system.

Come on, Intuit. Just come out and say it. You don’t want to do any business with those of us involved in the multi-billion dollar gun industry. (But they’ve been only too happy to collect interest from Lone Wolf’s money for over a week, which their convoluted logic somehow justifies.)

How would Intuit feel if we, as an industry, dropped them? No more QuickBooks, no more Mint, no more TurboTax. A little something to consider. A project for our readers: back, frequent, and support businesses that support the Second Amendment. Money talks, guys. Make yours sing.

Second Amendment supporters, meanwhile, have flooded Intuit’s Facebook page.

“Let that be a lesson to anyone else who has a gun-related business. Now you know who not to do business with,” Knowlton said.



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Joe Newby

A 10-year veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps, Joe ran for a city council position in Riverside, Calif., in 1991 and managed successful campaigns for the Idaho state legislature. Co-author of "Banned: How Facebook enables militant Islamic jihad," Joe wrote for Examiner.com from 2010 until it closed in 2016 and his work has been published at Newsbusters, Spokane Faith and Values and other sites. He now runs the Conservative Firing Line.

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