SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — A controversial bill being debated in Pierre pits the firearm industry against the banking industry.
The owner of one of the most successful firearm dealerships in the country says he couldn’t get a business loan, despite making tens of millions of dollars.
He says it’s political and is aiming to change the law.
Brandon Maddox, owner of Silencer Central in Sioux Falls, has over $70 million worth of gun suppressors stored here in his new warehouse, ready to be shipped out to hunters and other gun owners.
Maddox is licensed in 42 states and sold over $100 million worth of silencers last year.
But now he’s the one who’s making some noise.
“This law passed verbatim in Texas,” Maddox said.
Maddox has proposed a bill that would put the squeeze on big banks who refuse to give him a business loan, only because he’s associated with the firearms industry.
“The bill will call out the big banks that are discriminating against firearms manufacturers, arms dealers and will ensure that when the state wants to hire a bank those people won’t be on the list of the ones they can pick,” Maddox said.
Maddox is frustrated by the banking industry and how he’s been treated.
“We cannot lend you any money, because you have Silencer in your name and you are in the firearms industry,” Maddox said.
The bill was heard in Senate committee last week and was voted down on a 6 to 2 vote.
“I’m definitely a supporter of the 2nd Amendment I enjoy hunting and hunting with my family and all those great things, but what I ended up finding out was a lot of our small local banks were concerned about the bill, I received multiple emails and messages and even phone calls regarding their concerns,” State Senator Erin Tobin said.
“I appreciate Mr. Maddox coming in and testifying and love the business he’s built, we had a good chat afterwards by email, hopefully, we are able to work on regulations, particularly in his industry, but on this issue, the free market has already addressed this and taken care of this,” Crabtree said.
Maddox was able to finally get a loan from a smaller bank, but he wants the big banks to be held accountable and says he won’t stay silent.
“These same big banks are in Texas and they found a way to abide to it so the question is why can’t we do that in South Dakota and hold them accountable just like Texas did,” Maddox said.
A similar bill was heard in the House Committee and was tabled.
KELOLAND News reached out to the South Dakota Banking Association, but they refused to comment.