Monday, May 20 2013 10:58 AM EDT2013-05-20 14:58:13 GMT
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SCOTTSDALE, AZ (CBS5) -
A local gun manufacturer says Bank of America withheld nearly $100,000 worth of deposits because of what he is selling.
Joseph Sirochman owns American Spirit Arms in Scottsdale. The company manufactures high-end rifles like the AR15, M16 Rifle and M4 Carbine.
"Everything is American made, even down to the metal that we buy," said Sirochman.
"It's melted and manufactured in the USA. We're an American company. Made in American for Americans," he continued.
In mid-December, after the shooting in Connecticut and as talks heated up about a possible assault rifle ban, American Spirit Arms' e-commerce sales skyrocketed.
"Our internet sales started to increase. The deposits really spiked. We basically got five times our normal deposit was coming from our e-commerce site," recalled Sirochman.
However, the CEO and owner of the company said he quickly noticed deposits were not showing up in his company's accounts, so he called Bank of America, with which he had been doing business with for about a decade.
"Bank of America decided to put those deposits under review. We are a small business sand we rely on those deposits, but the review was only supposed to be 48 hours - 48 hours started to turn into two weeks. (Those holds were) not good for a small business that needs the cash flow to actually run its own business," said Sirochman.
Sirochman called the bank's Merchant Services Department and was eventually connected to a manager. Sirochman said she told him "We believe you shouldn't be selling guns and parts on the internet."
He posted the ordeal on his company's Facebook page, and after the post went viral, Sirochman said Bank of America released the funds. He says he believes the bank did not want to support a company with a controversial product.
"(Bank of America held the funds) because we are a firearms manufacturer, and that is in the political spotlight and they had a chance to slow us down," Sirochman said.
"We have all the proper licensing. We follow all the rules and regulations. We're audited by the ATF. We're visited by Homeland Security on a very normal basis," he continued.
CBS 5 reached out to Bank of America multiple times for comment, but our calls and emails have not been returned.
Sirochman has since moved his business to a local bank.
You can see Sirochman's original Facebook post by clicking here.
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