“Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act”

United States Congress

Representative Madeleine Dean (D-PA) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA)

Full co-sponsor list for H.R.5764 is viewable here - https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/5764/cosponsors 

Full co-sponsor list for S.3117 is viewable here - https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/3117/cosponsors 

H.R.5764 was introduced and referred to the House Committee on Financial Services on October 28, 2021.

S.3117 was introduced and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs on October 28, 2021.

FPC Position:

Bill Summary:
This bill would require the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) of the U.S. Department of Treasury to issue an advisory about how “homegrown violent extremists” and other perpetrators of “domestic terrorism” procure firearms and firearm accessories.

This bill would require financial institutions to turn over information on firearms and accessory purchases to FinCEN for developing an advisory about the identification and reporting of suspicious activity.

The bill seeks to study how “homegrown violent extremists” procure firearms and accessories for carrying “acts of terror” within the United States. Further FinCEN is to study the ways in which the firearms market is “exploited” to facilitate gun violence. Word choice matters and this bill seems to presume the answer to these questions in the manner of how they ask them. If passed, FinCEN is required to seek all this information from financial institutions within one year of the passage of the bill. 

In seeking out information from financial institutions and formulating advisories, FinCEN is also tasked with consulting with the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of the Department of Justice (ATF) and sellers of firearms.

If FinCEN finds sufficient information to issue an advisory, they are required to make this public within 540 days after the date of enactment of this law.  

If FinCEN does not collect sufficient information to issue an advisory, they are then required to report to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs of the Senate and the Committee on Financial Services of the House of Representatives. The report will detail the following:

  • The type of information collected
  • The methods used to collect such information
  • How cooperative were financial institutions with requests
  • Why FinCEN did not feel confident in issuing an advisory
  • What barriers exist in acquiring information

Lastly, FinCEN is required, within 90 days of the passage of this bill, to consult with the Director of the FBI and the Director of the ATF for the purposes of rulemaking to define the following terms:

  • Firearm accessory.
  • Homegrown violent extremist.
  • Lone wolf.
  • Lone actor.

Political Analysis:
As listed above, a version of this bill is filed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate. The cosponsor list is low on both bills. Additionally, with institutions like the FBI and ATF having very public issues with partisan politicization over the last few years, this bill is not likely to get as much GOP “tough on crime” support as it traditionally might have in the past. 

This bill is still a serious concern in the free reign which FinCEN seems to have with collecting information on firearm and accessory transactions from financial institutions. Additionally, it is difficult to believe that this bill is purely about fact finding if the FBI and ATF are involved. This bill seems intent on FinCEN establishing a narrative on firearms ownership, transactions, and “homegrown violent extremism.” This bill very much seems like the “War on Terror” coming home, so to speak. 

If, as a FPC member or supporter, you feel that Department of Treasury, ATF, and FBI do not have your best interests at heart and may view you as a “homegrown violent extremist” then you need to express your concerns with your members of Congress proactively.